23 January 2014

Nigeria: Ovia in Davos, Canvasses for Foreign Investment in Nigeria

The founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, Wednesday called on foreign investors to invest in the Nigerian economy and reap one of the best returns in the world.

Ovia, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, made the call in an interview with ARISE TV, saying while the average return on investment in many countries is about 17 per cent, investment in Nigeria fetched about 35 per cent return.

"Foreign investors should come and invest in Nigeria and reap returns as high as 35 per cent compared to 17 per cent on average return in other parts of the world," he said.

Ovia said investors, delaying to come and invest in Nigeria because of the political environment, should rethink their decision, as they had nothing to worry about. According to him, the various challenges associated with the electioneering process, which were giving them concern about the political climate in Nigeria, would be taken care of by the appropriate authorities.

"Those talking about political issues have nothing to worry about. Foreign investors would want to wait until after elections before making investment decision.

"However, there is nothing to worry about regarding Nigeria. Investors should come and take advantage of the various opportunities and reap high returns on their investments," he added.

Ovia, who is now the Chairman of Visafone, a telecoms operator, explained that Nigeria is recording significant improvement in infrastructure development, noting that electricity generation and distribution are now in private hands.

"It has never been done before where you have power plants sold to private investors. This is a good development that will impact positively on the economy generally. There are other policies that are making the manufacturing and agricultural sectors more attractive to investors," he said.

Speaking on the benefits of the economic summit, Ovia said they were very important for many African economies, particularly for Nigeria.

"The summit is very important for many African economies, particularly Nigeria, because Davos provides a tremendous opportunity for various key business leaders in Africa and government functionaries to meet foreign investors, those who are aspiring to come to Nigeria to invest and for the rest of Africa," he said.

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