The Nigerian Investment and Promotion Commission (NIPC), has stressed the need to constantly improve the business environment at the sub-national level to attract more investment into the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of NIPC, Ms Yewande Sadiku, while addressing participants at the Renaissance Capital 10th yearly Pan -Africa Investors Conference, in Lagos, Wednesday, said apart from the improvement recorded at the national level, it is also important to ensure that the business climate in the states become more attractive for investment.
"I encourage governors to compete with each other for proactive investment attention, because Nigeria is competing with the rest of the world. I will rather recommend that the competition for investment attention be between states in Nigeria than between Nigeria and a third party country."
She reiterated federal government's commitment to progressively improve overall business environment, noting that since the long-term growth potential remains compelling, the country must remain the investment hub for existing and prospective investors.
She said the NIPC was created to enhance Nigeria's business climate while soliciting the support of professionals in advocating policy changes that align with investor expectations.
Sadiku said the Commission will support states government in profiling investment opportunities that would attract foreign investors to the state.
She said NIPC is also creating a platform for capacity building, and profiling investment opportunities; starting with a tool that would help in profiling small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
Sadiku highlighted foreign investors concerns to include policy stability, power, foreign exchange stability, and insecurity, saying: "... when it concerns going beyond certain parts of Nigeria, many investors draw a line; and there are areas that they are not as present as they should be."
She added: "There are some concerns in their minds in terms of estimating what their returns are. The bulk of the investors that we deal with are not short-term investors. They take a really long-term view, and what we tell them is that there might be short flips, but in the context of the long-term basics Nigeria's fundamentals remain strong."
The Board Chairman, Renaissance Capital, Christophe Charlier, said the key take-away from the conference is that investors focus too strongly on the risks, often missing the chance to turn some of the country's key challenges into viable prospects.
"Opportunities abound, and Renaissance Capital remains committed to Nigeria and West Africa, which is evidenced by the firm's growing share of market and deal pipeline."