Abuja — The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Engr. Mustapha Bello, yesterday said government would make serious efforts to sustain the targeted foreign direct investment currently at N2.98trillion.
Bello, who stated this at the two Nigerian Turkish Business Forum in Abuja, commended the intial efforts made by the country to transit from an average mark of $5billion FDI annually to an impressive $20billion, while stating that the improvement was due to the fruitful drive by the relevant authorities in the country to get foreigners to invest in Nigerian economy, a development which earned the nation the 19th position on the UNCTAD's most improved economies list.
His words: "A study report produced by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows that we are now number 19 on the list. As at last year, we were not on that chart but this goes to show that the efforts we are putting into getting different countries to invest here is yielding fruits. For us to be 19th on that list goes to show that we have done a lot in driving FDIs.
"If you look at that critically, you will notice that the figure that brought us to level 19 is the 20 billion dollars we were able to attract in one year. So I think we are seeing encouraging response from the efforts we are putting into getting a lot of foreign capital into the economy. We are 19 out of the 20 countries rated worldwide and that shows that we have improved because the average we use to have was around 5billion dollars per annum," he said.
The Executive Secretary noted that "the greatest challenge now is to sustain this position and our target is to sustain the $20billion dollar mark we have hit so we do not drop from there. This is going to be our focus in 2010."
While commending the Turkish businessmen for considering Nigeria's investment climate conducive for them to venture into, the NIPC Executive Secretary said efforts will be made to attract more investments into Nigeria this year.
Bello said Nigeria also liberalised the business environment providing incentives for prospective investors to ensure safety and security of all investments made in the country. "Our one stop investment shop will provide information needed by those who want to do business in Nigeria. Also, we have made it possible for foreign investors to plough back part of their investment into their countries of origin.
70 per cent of our land is arable and our location is an advantage. We give tax holiday and any investment on infrastructure in rural areas where businesses are located will be refunded. Also, use of local raw materials attracts capital allowance up to 20 per cent annually. Nigeria as at today has the lowest VAT regime of 5 per cent."