The Federal Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Nigeria’s Investment Policy to attract more investors into the country.
The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Evelyn N. Ngige disclosed this during the opening ceremony of Stakeholders’ Engagement on the draft Nigeria’s Investment Policy (NInP) held in Kano today.
The Permanent Secretary said the Stakeholders’ Engagement was geared toward outlining a comprehensive investment policy to attract more foreign investors into the country.
The Permanent Secretary represented by the Director Investment Promotion Department in the Ministry, Mrs. Olukemi Arodudu noted that African countries that have clearly outlined investment policies have found it easier to attract more foreign direct investment which is one of the reasons why the development of an investment policy for Nigeria has been part of the heartbeat of the Industry, Trade and Investment sector at the federal level for the last few years.
She stated that “Nigeria took the bold step of reforming her International Investment Agreements negotiation model between 2014 and 2016, and we are now a reference point for reforming and modernizing investment promotion and protection agreements.
Also, within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigeria contributed immensely to the development of both the ECOWAS Common Investment Code as well as ECOWAS Common Investment Policy; and Nigeria is playing a major role in the second stage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Which is the negotiation of competition, investment and intellectual property rights policies”.
She therefore affirmed that for Nigeria to maintain her leadership role in the African continent, the need for a well-articulated Nigeria Investment Policy could not be over-emphasised.
Dr. Evelyn Ngige stated that the main focus of the national Investment Policy for Nigeria, is to create an atmosphere which would attract Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable Investment (RIBS), whether foreign or domestic into every sector, thereby achieving the much desired economic diversification and building a nation where the future generations of Nigerians can thrive.
She therefore urged participants at the Stakeholders’ Engagement to collectively consider the draft policy and give it the best, so that the final document that would emerge after the exercise would achieve its aim of sustainable development of Nigeria
The Permanent Secretary used the medium to appreciate the Honourable Minister and the Honourable Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo and Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagun for their passionate support for the development of an investment policy that will promote economic diversification and sustainable development in Nigeria.
She also appreciated the Bank of Industry and the National Sugar Development Council who have supported the process of the development this policy from the beginning as well as Huawei Technologies, a sterling example of responsible investment in Nigeria, who have been stakeholders in the Nigerian ICT sector for over 20 years and have created thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
In her opening remarks, the Director of Legal Service Department, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Mrs. Patience Okala said the Nigeria Investment Policy would help to put together Nigeria’s policy direction for investment.
Mrs Okala stated “Nigeria’s Policy for investment is represented in different documents of government, we have a large chunk of it in the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act, we have some portion of it in Nigeria’s international agreements regime, which we have done a comprehensive review”.
Participants at the forum included representatives from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies at both Federal and State levels, organized private sector, Academia, Development partners, Donor Agencies, multilateral Investment Agencies, major investors, among others.
It would be noted that this Stakeholders’ Engagement on the draft Nigeria Investment Policy (NInP) is taking place in two venues this week, namely, Kano for stakeholders from the Northern part of the country between 28th and 29th March, 2022 and Lagos, for stakeholders from the Southern part of the country between 31st, March and 1st, April,2022 and this has formed part of the process of development of Nigeria’s ever first Investment Policy.