Nigeria’s Investment Drive In London | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria’s Investment Drive In London

Posted: Jul 15, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Today marks the end of the week-long Nigeria Trade and Investment Road Show organised in London by the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in collaboration with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

A delegation of five Nigerian Ministers led by Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Trade and Investment,attended the event. Other ministers were Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu,Minister of Water Resources, Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation and Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to a statement issued by the British High Commission, the show was organised to establish a platform for the Federal Government to profile business opportunities to a UK audience and build relationships with international businesses. From all indications, the show is a positive development as it would enhance the existing business relationships and opportunities between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, especially following Britain’s recent exit from the European Union (EU). Also, as Nigeria’s former colonial master, effective and sincere collaboration and co-operation between the United Kingdom and Nigeria, especially in critical development areas such as agriculture, transport, infrastructure, aviation, solid minerals, energy, as well as Information Communication and Technology (ICT) are desirable now more than ever before.

The just-concluded show must have also enabled members of the delegation to establish sustainable links to various aspects of development finance for ensuring more viable, enduring and profitable commercial partnerships between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Although like many countries worldwide, Nigeria is currently facing some challenges, especially due to the dwindling oil revenue, there are many highly lucrative business opportunities that require the urgent attention of both local and foreign investors. Such areas in which investors can invest include energy, solid minerals, aviation, transport, information technology, as well as water resources and agriculture.

Now that the show has ended, we urge members of the Nigerian delegation to ensure they put into practice all they have learnt during their stay in the United Kingdom. On return to Nigeria, they should interact with their colleagues in and outside their ministries by providing them vital information concerning their experiences in the UK to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas, especially in the area of establishing sustainable business relationship between Nigeria and the United Kingdom in particular, as well as building such relationship between the country and the rest of the international community, in general. The success or failure of the show will be largely determined by the number of UK investors that showed interest in investing in Nigeria.

Beyond the business ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom, the federal government should in view of the rapid economic changes across the world, be innovative by seeking support of other well-meaning Western countries for stronger and sustainable business relationships. This particular step is desirable at this moment that the country is experiencing economic recession and other challenges.

However, we wish to caution that for government to attract genuine investors to Nigeria, it should put in place essential infrastructure to guarantee security and safety of investments of local and foreign investors. We commend government for its on-going efforts to combat terrorism and other forms of criminality in the country but more has to be done in this regard to assure foreign investors that their investments will be safe in Nigeria.

No number of trips by public officials to attract foreign investments into the country will achieve the desired result if the domestic environment is insecure and unstable for such investments to thrive.

This is why government should immediately fix the decaying infrastructure such as power, water, roads; introduce single-digit interest rate to encourage investors and manufacturers; abolish all forms of multiple taxations, sanitise business registration processes; as well as ensure incorruptible officials are recruited into the public service.