NNPC Moves to Reduce Nigeria’s Loan Appetite
• Starts a comprehensive plan to increase FDI.
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NNPC) has taken action to reduce future borrowings by increasing the nation’s foreign exchange profits while Nigeria’s debt profile continues to climb.
NewsReport indicates that one of the measures to accomplish the objectives would be a master plan that would increase the amount of investment space available to both domestic and foreign investors while retaining those already involved in the system.
Speaking on the direction with the media in Lagos yesterday, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Hajiya Saratu Umar, said the mandate of NNPC was critical in this regard, being the agency of the federal government that has the statutory mandate to encourage, promote, and coordinate investment into the economy.
According to her, “this is critical to promoting economic growth, creating jobs, and generating wealth for Nigerians, as well as facilitating development.” This assignment is made very compelling if we are to set the nation on the path of sustainable progression towards becoming a prosperous nation.
She pointed out that there was a need to promote the country’s investment potential by putting up a marketing/branding strategy, stressing that there would be a vigorous campaign as the country cannot continue to go for loans.
She said: “Nigeria is a resource-rich country with a potential that is unmatched by any other country in the world.” Investment promotion comes into play to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and mobilize or remobilize local direct investment to unleash the full potential of the economy.
“The market for FDI has become very competitive and versatile, and the investment promotion thrust of successful jurisdictions that are attracting the largest global market share of FDI inflows is driven by effective, efficient, and performance-driven investment promotion agencies.”
“With over 178 IPAs worldwide competing to channel FDI to their respective countries, it is clear that NNPC must ensure that Nigeria receives a fair share of this global market.”
“This is especially important given the recent implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, under which an investor can establish operations in any signatory country and gain access to the Nigerian market.”
“If we are to assert our position as a dominant regional player, we must enhance our investment drive.”
She also observed that the African economies had accentuated their investment climate reforms and business-friendly policies, facilitated by a very competitive investment promotion drive.
“The central and strategic role of the NNPC in the coordination of investment promotion should be activated to ensure Nigeria’s investment promotion drive is given traction to onboard investments into the different sectors of the economy in a bid to facilitate economic growth and national development, including job creation, import substitution, foreign exchange generation, and reduction of our reliance on debt, amongst others.”
“Consequently, it has become critically important for all stakeholders in the investment promotion ecosystem to work in synergy and complement our competences to collectively drive a national investment promotion campaign.”
“As a result, the NNPC’s National Investment Coordination Framework will provide a clear strategy for the investment ecosystem’s seamless collaboration and coordination, as well as usher in robust and effective stakeholder communication and engagement.”
“We believe this will result in an effective partnership with all critical stakeholders, including the media community, to galvanize Nigeria’s investment performance and ensure investment plays a central role in national development.”
“Indeed, the media is among the most important stakeholders in the investment ecosystem.” The immediate focus of this stakeholder engagement is to seek a more effective partnership toward national development.
“Ultimately, the desired goal is to ensure collective action that will firmly place the country on the path of sustainable prosperity for current and future generations,” she added.
Speaking further on the Master plan, the Executive Secretary stated that the emphasis on investment would be primarily in non-oil export by exploring the various industries in the agri-food value chain and tapping into the country’s solid mineral potential.
Reflecting on the current state of infrastructure and the non-investment-friendly environment, she acknowledged that, while they exist, some of them would be addressed, while others could be turned into opportunities for investors through appropriate engagements and campaigns.
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