FG unveils book to drive investments across states

The Federal Government has unveiled the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission’s (NIPC) ‘Book of States’, aimed at attracting domestic and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) for economic growth.

The book, a compendium of key investment opportunities and comparative advantages of the 36 states and the FCT was prepared by the NIPC in conjunction with the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF).

Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said at the launch of the compendium in Abuja that the initiative would help investors to better appreciate investment potentials across Nigeria.

In a keynote address, Adebayo noted that the document would help to attract the right investments to Nigeria, improve productivity, create jobs, and generate revenue for the country.

“The ministry appreciates that the work was fully supported and endorsed by all 36 governors, including the Minister of FCT.

“This shows how we are collectively working to ensure that Nigeria is properly positioned to provide first-hand information on the abundant opportunities and advantages in our nation,’’ he said.

The minister assured the NIPC of the ministry’s guidance and support in relation to effectively supporting the states to promote, attract and manage domestic and foreign investments.

He urged the public to take advantage of NIPC’s initiatives targeted at making the country a destination of choice for investors and making all Nigerian states ‘investor ready and friendly’.

In a remark, Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and Ekiti State Governor, said the initiative was timely to cushion the COVID-19 pandemic effect.

 According to Mr Fayemi, represented by Asishana Okauru, Director-General of NGF, it was apt for the states to begin to chart a path out of the adverse socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For most Nigerians, the health risks accompanied by the pandemic, ranks behind multiple, complex and larger structural concerns such as economic uncertainty, an increasing desire for a social safety net and heightened insecurity, as well as poverty,’’ he noted.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), capital importation fell by almost 60 per cent, from $24 billion in 2019 to $10 billion in 2020.

 Fayemi, however, said that the drop, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting crash of commodity prices, must be reversed in 2021.

“We must work together as Federal and State Governments to, in the first instance, take capital importation back to 2019 levels, and use it as a launch pad for future growth.

“We also have to improve subnational development finance, through an innovative mix of development finance mechanisms, including the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in securing funds required for public infrastructural development.

“To attract international capital, Nigeria must improve coordination across various organs of government, ensure coherence between fiscal and monetary policies and have the agencies responsible for formulating and implementing such policies, all singing from the same hymn sheet.

“At the subnational level, we need to pay special attention to Investment Promotion and Ease of Doing Business (EoDB). At the Forum, we will continue to provide technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to states yet to establish IPAs and EoDB Steering Committees,’’ he said.

Yewande Sadiku, NIPC’s Executive Secretary, while presenting the document, thanked the NGF, the ministry and NIPC’s Governing Council, for their commitments towards the completion of the project and support for the achievement of its mandate.

Mrs Sadiku described the book as an important building block in NIPC’s effort to support states in investment promotion and having completed this maiden edition, it would commit efforts to follow-on projects that would elevate investment prospect visibility.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the document, which was released virtually in August 2020 and sent to all ministries and foreign outposts, allows for more effective matching of investors with states.

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