By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
Yewande Sadiku, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), has assured foreign investors in Nigeria that the NIPC is poised to help them better understand Nigeria’s investments prospects and provide them with information to make better informed decisions on the nation’s investment opportunities.
Speaking at a two-day USA Fair 2019, a trade and investment expo exclusively for Nigerian and American businesses in energy, agriculture, aviation, ICT and others, organized by the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, in Lagos on Tuesday, on the NIPC’s efforts to improve investments in Nigeria, Sadiku said that as an advocacy agency, the NIPC has realised that investors invest because of the business environment.
Stating that the NIPC job is to advocate for the private sector to ensure that Nigeria positions itself in a manner that will help it attract the investment applications, Sadiku noted that “NIPC’s responsibility is to help investors understand the prospects of Nigeria’s businesses, provide them with information, help them make better informed decisions on Nigeria’s investment opportunities and where they have challenges, work with them to advocate for those policies to be put in place.”
Also speaking on how the ease of doing business in Nigeria has fared so far, Sadiku said there is improvement in the independent assessment of the nation’s position in relation to the ease of doing business, adding that there the last report recorded great progress, based on measures set by the World Bank.
The NIPC CEO, who said that Nigeria recorded improvements in three of the last five years, affirmed that she will like to see a lot more in terms of the size of the improvement, as Nigeria is in a direction of progress.
“Nigeria has recorded improvement in that position and with the decline in Nigeria’s business environment, President Muahmmadu Buhari felt that to give it the right kind of attention, somebody as senior as Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, should head the council that is responsible for the business environment. I can’t think of a better way of the government demonstrating its commitment to improving the business environment. “The government is facing the right direction. The progress may be slower than what people want but we didn’t get here today, we didn’t get here in four years. So we can’t get out of it in four years. The best time to start is now.”
Also speaking on the business relationship between Nigeria and the U.S., Sadiku said that the NIPC feels very strongly that about the U.S. as one of the 20 countries identified as being of strategic importance to Nigeria in the context of investment and promotion, adding that “It is a relationship that we want to revive aggressively and we are currently working with our stakeholders both in Nigeria and the U.S. to identify the strongest partners in the public and private sectors to ensure that our engagements with the U.S. are essentially fishing where the right things are, and that we are engaging them in the right quality and at the right level.”
Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Financial Derivatives, while proffering solutions to the relationship with the U.S. and Nigerian businesses, pointed better communication, as recorded in the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo’s speech, which says that at the highest level of Nigerian government, there is a commitment to increase investments on aggregate consumption on jobs.
He added that at the private sector level, “there is a commitment of interest, it is a win-win situation and it can only get better for us. Definitely, we are very optimistic of the future.”