By IKENNA UWADILEKE
ABUJA- The Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), has expressed its commitment to ensure that Nigeria becomes a preferred investment destination of choice for investors.
The Executive Secretary of NIPC, Mrs Saratu Umar, said this at the NIPC stakeholders’ engagement forum with state Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Umar said that NIPC was also strategising to increase national attractiveness and branding strategies at the national and sub-national levels to deepen Nigeria’s investment promotion drive.
While calling for improved synergy among stakeholders in the investment promotion ecosystem, she expressed concern that the investment promotion drive of the country was fragmented.
According to her, the investment promotion drive of the country is largely fragmented, thereby, depriving us of cohesive leverage we can achieve if we synergise our efforts and resources.
“Consequently, all stakeholders in the investment promotion ecosystem ought to work in synergy and complement our mandates and competences to facilitate a national investment promotion campaign under the National Investment Promotion Master plan.
“This will also holistically accommodate investment opportunities at the state levels,’’ she said.
Umar said that the absence of a coordination and monitoring mechanism had left the investing community in a state of confusion.
She said that the coordination of investment promotion activities between the national IPAs, NIPC, and sub-national IPAs for the effective implementation of investment promotion activities was largely absent.
“To avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ conduct, the country’s effort should be created for investment promotion under the coordination of the national IPA, NIPC,’’ Umar said.
She said that Nigeria is a resource rich country with a potential that was unrivalled by any other country in the world, “but this potential is yet to be fully harnessed’’.
“The level of resource mobilisation is insufficient to harness this potential for inclusive growth and national development.
“And this is where the role of investment promotion comes in to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and mobilise Local Direct Investment.
“Global FDIs market over the last decade has become very competitive and versatile.
“The investment promotion thrust of successful jurisdictions that are attracting the largest global market share of FDIs inflows are driven by effective, efficient and performance driven IPAs.
‘With almost 180 IPAs worldwide competing to channel FDIs to their different countries, a compelling imperative is established that NIPC is positioned to ensure that Nigeria gets a fair share of this global market.
“The commencement of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) makes it imperative for Nigeria to enhance its investment promotion drive and outclass other economies within the Area.
“This is in order to remain the preferred investment destination of choice because with AfCFTA, an investor can establish operation in any African country that is signatory and still access the Nigerian market,” she said.
According to Umar, the central and strategic role of NIPC in the coordination of all investment promotion should, therefore, be activated to ensure Nigeria’s investment promotion drive was given traction.
“This is to onboard investments into the different sectors of the economy in a bid to facilitate economic growth and national development as well as job creation, import substitution, foreign exchange generation and reduction of our reliance on debt among others.
“Therefore, in order not to lose out of the tremendous opportunity that has now presented itself, we must collaborate under NIPC’s coordination to implement investment facilitation measures to maximise the impact of investment facilitation activities.
“Thus, under the national investment coordination framework being evolved, NIPC will provide a clear strategy for a seamless collaboration and coordination of the investment ecosystem as well as usher in a robust and effective stakeholder communication and engagement.
“This will result in effective partnership with all stakeholders including sub-national investment promotion players,’’ she said.
Umar also said that a national council of investment promotion would be inaugurated by NIPC under its chairmanship and membership of all sub-nationals.
According to her, it is with investment promotion roles to facilitate and ensure seamless coordination of the activities of the national and state IPAs for holistic growth and development. (NAN)