There are indications that foreign investors are showing more interest in Nigeria as the country recorded $91bn investment announcements in 2018, Daily Trust findings have shown.
Data from the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) seen by our reporter show increased investors’ interest in Nigeria largely due to heightened investment promotion at the federal level.
NIPC started tracking investment announcements for Nigeria in 2017 to serve as the basis for understanding investors’ interest in the country.
In 2018, the commission tracked a total of $90.90bn worth of investment announcements, up by 37 per cent from the value tracked in 2017.
Also, data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Nigeria recorded N23.44tn ($64.55bn) worth of investment inflow from abroad in the last five years.
Daily Trust observed that Nigeria recorded slump in capital inflows since 2014 when the country recorded N7.51tn ($20.75bn), being highest value of capital importation in the last five years.
2015 presidential election rattled foreign investors leading to a N4.04tn ($11.11bn) drop in capital inflow from the N23.44tn ($64.55bn) Nigeria attracted in 2014 to N3.50tn ($9.64bn) in 2015.
However, investment inflows are on the rise again as the country recorded a total of N4.44tn ($12.22bn) in 2017 and N6.11tn ($16.81bn) in 2018.
At a recent media parley, the Executive Secretary of NIPC, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, said there was heightened investors’ interest in Nigeria because the commission transited from a reactive model of investment promotion to a proactive one.
Daily Trust looks at some of the innovations introduced by NIPC under Ms. Sadiku to increase investors’ interest in Nigeria:
Compendium of investment incentives in Nigeria
One of the first key achievements of NIPC under Ms. Sadiku is the compilation of fiscal incentives in Nigerian tax laws and duly approved sector-specific incentives.
It was a collaborative work between NIPC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to provide investors with updated information on incentives available for investors in Nigeria.
The compendium, which was launched in the country, contained sections on investment policies and protection, general tax-based incentives, sector-specific incentives, tariff-based incentives, export incentives and incentives for investors in special economic zones.
Speaking recently to journalists, the NIPC boss said the commission would undertake an Incentives Impact Assessment (IIA) this year to measure the effect of existing incentives in generating the required investments; and achieving the desired economic impact.
She said the commission would also conduct peer review with other economies and recommend reforms in Nigeria’s incentives regime based on Impact Assessment and feedback from stakeholders’ engagements.
Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI)
The NIPC under Ms. Sadiku also undertook the revision of the process for new Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) applications.
Information obtained from NIPC shows that the PSI policy has also been reviewed in which 27 new industries have been added to qualify for the incentive and two sectors were removed: cement, based on maturity, and oil production and prospecting.
Within this administration, NIPC also launched Nigeria’s investment window to the world through an online resource tagged, “iGuide Nigeria”.
It is an easy-to-use online investment guide that provides investors with information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria.
It provides information on starting business, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor rights, growth sector and opportunities.
The NIPC boss believes that, “The information will enable investors to make better informed decisions on Nigeria as a preferred investment destination.”
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT)
The commission also carried out an initial assessment of Nigeria’s Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) and found that most of them were not favourable to the country and should be renegotiated.
Out of the 21 treaties assessed, 17 were found wanting and in need of renegotiation, three were Okayed and one uncleared.
Ms. Sadiku, who traced the origin of some of the treaties to the1990s, said they were negotiated a long time ago and that some dynamics of the agreements had changed.
Direct Investors Summit (DIS)
NIPC held the Direct Investors Summit (DIS) in May, 2018, which brought together investors from 14 countries.
Apart from several investment deals reached at the summit, it marketed Nigeria’s investment potentials to the world.
Investment certification programme for states
NIPC undertook investment certification of states based on their ability to provide complete, accurate and relevant information to investors in a timely manner; their ability to offer sites and buildings that meet targeted investors needs in a transparent and efficient manner; and their ability to promote and sell the region in a focused manner and to offer professional levels of service to potential and existing investors.
The NIPC boss said the commission had completed the certification for Ogun, Osun and Oyo, while Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Kaduna and Ondo were ongoing.
Investment opportunity profiling
One of the ongoing projects of NIPC is profiling of investment prospects across Nigeria to reveal existing opportunities, new projects (brownfield or greenfield), Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and prospective investors seeking opportunities.
NIPC intends to draw up a standardised template to be used by all investment agencies in Nigeria and a database of investment opportunities to be maintained by it (NIPC), which will improve visibility of investable opportunities in Nigeria.