By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Pushed by the drive to make the country’s industrialization goal a reality and also encourage industrialists to embark on aggressive way to make the country achieve that aim, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said that Nigeria’s domestic investment grew by 46 per cent in 2011.
While presenting the national internal investment profile at the inauguration of the World Bank’s Investment Climate Assessment (ICA), Aganga noted that the investment dividends based on the ICA assessment of investment climate in 26 states of the federation was through the Federal Government effort.
Also the minister stated that “Reforming the Nigeria’s Investment Climate,” said that Nigeria remained the preferred investment destination in Africa.
“The performance of Nigeria on the recent report issued by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) about the global investment flow across the world indicated that investment flow globally has increased by 16 per cent. The flow to Africa has come down by one or two per cent because of the war in Egypt, Libya and the others. But what is important to us is that the investment flow to Nigeria has gone up by 46 per cent to N8.9 billion.”
Likewise Aganga stressed that in spite of all the challenges of doing business in Nigeria, the country in the period under review, came third in terms of the level of investments attracted.
“If you look at debt to GDP ratio, it’s under 20 per cent, the average in Europe is 88 per cent, the average in the world is 87.6 per cent, the united states and some others are more than 100 per cent. So for an economy to attract investment, you have to have an average macro-economic environment and Nigeria in overall has the average macro-economic environment.”
Earlier, Ms Francoise Marie-Nelly, the Country Director of World Bank, Nigeria, said the ICA was one of the important areas to improve on competitiveness and job creation.
She urged the Federal Government to address the operational constraints affecting the smooth running of small and medium businesses in the country.
Marie-Nelly identified the constraints as poor power supply, lack of access to credit and gender related issues.