…Says govt plans incentive to attract investors
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, said Thursday that the current security challenges in some parts of the country were the main reasons Nigeria fell off the list of top 10 preferred investment destinations in Africa.
The minister said this while briefing State House correspondents at the weekly Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
He said the federal government is doing all that is necessary to return Nigeria to its position.
“There are various factors. The reasons for that are various, the major one being the security problem that we have in the country. You are well aware; the Nigerian government is making every effort to resolve the security problem so that we will go back to the position of being the preferred investment destination.
“However, having said this, the feedback that I have begun to get lately from some of the people, the foreign governments that I have been meeting, is that our position is getting better because there seems to be a big interest now again in investing in Nigeria. So, I’m sure as time goes on, we will begin to see an improvement in that situation,” he said.
He said despite the security challenges, investors’ interest in has heightened.
“One of the things that we keep harping on is the fact that we have the largest individual population in Africa, we are the largest markets in Africa, of the 1.3 billion African market, over 200 million is Nigeria.
“So, anybody that wants to do business in Africa, we always say you should take advantage of that market. There’s no better place to start than Nigeria, because you have ready market in Nigeria, and Nigeria as a hub, and then spread to other African countries. And that is the message we will take out.”
The minister said lthe federal government is willing to provide incentive to investors to invest in insecurity prone areas in the country.
“And another thing that we’re doing, maybe I should mention this as well, we are looking at when people want to invest, everybody wants to invest in a safe area. So, to make it attractive for you to invest in a place that is not so safe, we will be giving various incentives.
“So, for instance, we invite you and we say come and invest in the northwest, and you say aha! there’s a security problem there. We say, there is no problem. There is security problem. However, if you invest a certain amount of money, these are the incentives that we will give you to enable you go and invest and that is beginning to reap benefit because people are beginning to show interest in that kind of thing,” he said.