Nigeria opens economy to foreign investment, says no limits to foreign participation

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said foreign investors had nothing to worry about as there were no laws limiting foreign participation and investment in any sector of the economy.

While speaking during the 2019 FMDQ Capital Market Conference in Lagos, Osinbajo said that though there are no limits to investing, the Federal Government has simple and clear procedures for capital repatriation.

He said there was also a need to make investors see Nigeria as a compelling destination of capital because capital was central to economic growth and development.

The Vice President further noted that there was a need to accumulate and effectively deploy financial capital in order match other countries which were currently enjoying economic prosperity.

Osinbajo stated that as a country, more capital was required to grow, develop and attain full potential.

He noted that there was a need to mobilize domestic savings and capital as well as attract the necessary foreign capital to finance our needs in various areas of the economy including, infrastructure, agriculture, mining, and industry.

Other sectors in need of capital finance according to the Vice President include, Housing, the Small and Medium Enterprises, information and communication technology, transportation, among other sectors.

Osinbajo added that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing everything possible to close the gap in our infrastructure deficit.

This is being done through our direct expenditure and by incentives given to private investors, domestic and foreign, to invest in the critical sectors of the economy, the Vice President noted.

Acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Uduk, while addressing financial operators in Lagos on Thursday, said the Capital Market Master Plan (2015-2025) had been launched to transform the Nigerian capital market and make it more competitive.

She said that the plan was hinged on four strategic themes, namely: contribution to national economy, competitiveness, market structure and regulation and oversight.

Uduk said SEC, in partnership with the market, had worked on initiatives that simplified the process of raising capital and reduced time to market in contributing to the national economy.

The Head of Markets, EY, Mr Roderick Wolfenden, who was also speaking at the event said investors viewed Nigeria as the most attractive destination for investment in Africa.

He noted that the key drivers of investment into Nigeria would be sound economic reforms, financial growth, market size and the ease of doing business.

Wolfenden lamented that the investment in the country was not creating enough jobs compared to other countries.

He said the various governments in Africa were not doing enough to make it easy to do business on the continent, which was slowing down foreign direct investment inflow.

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