VENTURES AFRICA – In the bid to create more jobs and better the commonwealth of its people, Nigeria’s government has said it will strive to generate about 90 percent increase in revenue from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country in 2013, putting the expected revenue at $16 billion.
According to a report on a local newspaper, ThisDay, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, disclosed in Abuja, at the closing ceremony of the 8th National Conference on Investment (NCI), that Nigeria had so far earned $8.9 billion from foreign investment – a 40 percent increase in revenue from FDI in the previous year.
At the conference, which also had in attendance the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Works Mr. Mike Onolememen, and the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, Aganga said that the federal government was unsatisfied with the country’s low investment competitiveness ranking.
The 2011 Doing Business Report of the World Bank ranked Nigeria 131st out of 185 countries while the 2012 – 2013 Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranked Nigeria 115th out of 144 countries, citing lack of infrastructure, high rate of corruption among others, for the poor ranking.
Consequently, the Nigerian government has made policies and set up economic think tanks including the Presidential Committee on Doing Business and Competitiveness, and the Committee on Investors’ Care, among others, to make the oil rich state’s business environment more attractive to foreign investors.
According to Aganga, the government has also established one-stop shop investment centres (OSIC) in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states with the other states to have theirs before the end of 2013, in order to ease business activities in Africa’s second largest economy.
The Nigerian government plans to make heavy infrastructural developments in partnership with the private sector, to position the country for emergence as a global economy.
In September, it announced selected bidders for its national power distribution after the decision to privatize its national power corporation, following years of insufficient power generation, distribution and power cuts.