‘How to grow economy for sustainable FDI inflow’
To attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, government has been urged to strategically explore the fast growing non-oil sector that are also labour intensive.
Besides there is also need for government to increase Diaspora expertise and participation in Nigeria. The experts, who spoke in an interview with The Guardian during a training organised by First Bank of Nigeria Limited for Journalists, in Ghana, argued that Nigeria has advantage of large and youthful population, which will be attractive to foreign because it will provide opportunity for a large domestic market and cheap labour cost.
Specifically, a former member of Pyonter Institute for Media Research in the United States of America, Jim MaCauley, argued that Nigeria has a large and youthful population that should be attractive to foreign investors.
He however, maintained that Nigeria must focus more on diversification into other non-oil sectors where these youths can be fully and meaningfully engaged as a strategy in exploring the fast growing areas.
“Government must consciously invest heavily in infrastructure to ensure microeconomic stability and create business tax exemptions. It has to reduce opportunity for exemptions and red tape, in efforts to reduce cost of doing business and foreign investment,” he said.
A former London correspondent for African Concord, Francis Kokutse, stated that Diaspora involvement is needed to drive the nation’s economy and make it more competitive in the global market.
He pointed out that Nigerian economy would record significant improvement if government increases partnership with indigenes in Diaspora.According to him, this would enhance remittance into the country, which would ultimately boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
He noted that as the country grapples with the challenges of nation’s building, the involvement of every citizen becomes imperative wherever they are domiciled.
Kokutse, who is also the West Afican Correspondent of the IndoAsian News Service said Nigeria must pursue rigorously an all- inclusive agricultural system where the entire value chain, especially the small producers are supported to grow the sector.
He regretted the neglect of cocoa industry in Nigeria, noting that it is one of the nation’s most valued export crops years ago and advised government to develop a structured framework to revitalise cocoa export and mineral production in Nigeria.
The Africa Head, Deal Advisory and Private Equity, KPMG in Nigeria, Dapo Okubadejo, in KPMG report obtained by The Guardian, explained that for Nigeria to attract meaningful FDI and enhance competitiveness, it must articulate an integrated policy that would unlock rapid development of transport infrastructure.
According to him, the parlous state of road infrastructure in the country, especially those connected to the ports, has become a major concern to foreign investors, as the inadequacies pose a significant challenge for businesses.
He also stressed the need for government to ensure that Nigerian firms operate with high level of corporate governance and well-structured financial reporting standard to enhance ease of doing business in Nigeria.
“Nigeria can do well with much emphasis on agriculture. I also know that Nigeria has neglected cocoa production for a long time. There are other minerals that Nigeria can look at. The way the price of oil is going, the only way to strengthen Nigeria’s economy is to diversify the economy and look at agriculture more,” he said.
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