29 April 2014

Nigeria: State Attracted U.S.$40.5 Billion FDI Inflows in 26 Months - NBS

Abuja — Figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Tuesday, showed that Nigeria recorded foreign direct inflows of about $40.5 billion between 2012 and February 2014.

According to the breakdown, a total of $21.318 billion FDI was recorded for the whole of 2013, up by 28.3 per cent over the $16.615 billion in 2012.

Meanwhile, in the first two months of this year, FDI inflows amounted to $2.57 billion, with January alone amounting to $1.50 billion, while February's was $1.06 billion.

A breakdown of the figure showed that in 2012, for example, other investments (other claims) amounted to $20.833 billion; followed by $11.82 billion in portfolio investment (equity); while FDI (equity investment) was $1.932 billion.

During the year also, inflow was highest in October and November, when $2.068 billion and $2.034 billion were recorded respectively; followed by $1.941 billion in December.

In 2013, Portfolio investments in equity was the biggest type of capital importation, accounting for $15.116 billion; followed by $2.137 billion in form of other investments (loans); while on a month-by-month basis, the inflow traffic was heaviest in May, with $3.029 billion; June, $2.213 billion; followed by July with $2.028 billion.

For the months of January and February, portfolio investment in equity has contributed the lion's share of $1.38 billion; followed by $419.153 million through investments in bonds.

Also on Tuesday, NBS Chief Executive and Statistician General, Dr. Yemi Kale, explained that data generated from the recent re-basing of the nation's GDP is not a measure of poverty or wealth of the people, but to aid policy makers better the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

Kale who spoke in Abuja during the Securities and Exchange Commission Learning Series, said it is wrong for anybody to think the new GDP has changed the lives of Nigerians.

According to him, "the rebasing will force government to initiate policies that would re-distribute income to those who do not have. If you do not do that the poor themselves will redistribute income by engaging in criminal activities that would forcefully redistribute the income. So we are in a position now where government can deliberately put in policies that will peacefully re-distribute income".

He explained that "foreign investors need data to understand the structure of the economy so as to determine where to invest in the country. Government needs data to formulate strategic plans and make evidence based decisions and to monitor and evaluate the impact of these plans, policies and programmes.

"To solve unemployment we need to know how many are unemployed, what their qualifications and skills are, how many new entrants are entering the labour market each year as well as how many jobs the current system is generating periodically, before we can design programmes that will generate jobs for them. Without this we may generate more orless jobs than needed or may create jobs that cannot be filled by job-seekers. For example having 100,000 doctors and creating 100,000 accounting jobs which the doctors can't fill", he added.

He noted that although Nigeria's market capitalization/GDP is low relative to countries in the BRICS, the rebasing offers opportunity for further deepening of the market.

In his presentation, Bismarck Rewane, CEO, Financial Derivatives Company, noted that since the rebasing the Naira has regained some strength by gaining 2.5 per cent in the foreign exchange market.

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