Stakeholders explore investment financing options for growth
As the nation rallies investors for new commitments in the economy, stakeholders have unveiled strategies for businesses to attract investments needed to spur economic growth.
According to the stakeholders, there is a need to improve the operating environment, remove obstacles to growth and address misconceptions about the nation’s economy and its people.
Speaking at a roundtable organized by the Nigeria Norwegian Chamber of Commerce (NNCC), the Chamber’s chairman, Chijioke Igwe identified fund raising challenges as the major setback to business survival in Nigeria, but noted that it can be addressed by exploring various financing options.
Igwe, while speaking on the theme, ‘Solving the growth question: Investment financing option for business” held recently in Lagos, said the session was organized to address the challenges of doing business in the country.
Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Hon. Jens petter Kjemprud declared that Norway has more than 50 Norwegian companies operating in Nigeria and they have ambitions of both leasing and enhancing the number of companies in Nigeria.
He added, “Nigeria is a huge market and biggest market in Africa. We still believe we have a way of linking up people in opening some goals especially in relating or connecting with business and financial institutions in Norway. I won’t come into details but we have quite a number, I think most of you have heard about the Norwegian Sovereign Law Firm which is the biggest sovereign law firm in the world now on a capital of over 80,000 billion Norwegian Krone seeking investment opportunities in Nigeria”.
Kjemprud said his ambition is definitely to grow, not only in numbers of companies but on the total of economy commitment of investment budget and trade with Nigeria companies.
He warned investors to remove those misconceptions about Nigeria, saying: “I think we have to deal with misconception and misperceptions about Nigeria, having talk to all of them in Norwegian companies that are engaged In Nigeria. They are doing very sustainable, profitable and good businesses with Nigeria partners”.
Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Director, Emeka Offor said there is a very strong coloration between economy prosperity and the ease of doing business.
He said the government had come up with economy recovery and growth plan, adding that the plan has about five execution priorities to be achieved in 2020.
Offor stated that the plans are to stabilize macro business environment, achieve agriculture and food security, improve transportation infrastructure, ensure energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products and drive industrialization.
He said PEBEC came into being through the manifestation of the government commitment to attract investment, improving the business environment which he said the government believe that if the business environment is improves investment will be attracted more and then there will be economy growth.
He stated that the work of PEBEC use to be part of the work of NIPC, but the government felt that there is need to give traction to him in the short medium term to ensure that something happens quickly.
He added that a lot of money would be saved by SMEs in registering business, starting a business, reduction in business cost, time would be saved 60%, reduction in property registration time, access to credit, and there is an expectation that there will be a 130% increase in access to credit.
In other to make life easier for those who want to do business in Nigeria, Offor said Corporate Affairs Commission has reduced the number of days requires to register a business from ten days to two days, adding that they were able to eliminate requirements to hire a lawyer.
The Managing Director, ARM Capitals Partners, Vlassis Liakouris said some people have made investment but the problem is whether it was successful or not as most of them have lost money.