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Collaboration with our strategic partners will grow FDI – Adebayo

By Trifort Global
05 January 2022   |   4:00 pm
Welcome back from a successful trip to Dubai EXPO2020 where the Government secured a $2 billion pledge from the UAE for investment in the mining sector. This is in line with your Ministry’s primary mandate to diversify Nigeria’s economic base as we move away from an overreliance on oil revenues. How is your ministry preparing…

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo

Welcome back from a successful trip to Dubai EXPO2020 where the Government secured a $2 billion pledge from the UAE for investment in the mining sector. This is in line with your Ministry’s primary mandate to diversify Nigeria’s economic base as we move away from an overreliance on oil revenues. How is your ministry preparing to harness this investment & will be tied into the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP)?

First, thank you so much for having me. Dubai EXPO2020 has been truly remarkable, particularly the deals that were discussed and closed as well as conversations which I am confident would crystalise into good outcomes.

Like you rightly mentioned the UAE pledged to invest the sum of $2billion into the Nigeria Mining Sector which would further expand the volume and value of our export basket. 

We are excited as an administration and very optimistic to take this engagement forward because Mining is not only a labour-intensive sector that will help reduce unemployment, but the outputs also provide a good means for value addition to the Nation’s Export volumes. 

Finally, I would personally ensure that the commitments by the UAE government are fully realised by ensuring what is required on our part as a Government is provided or expedited.

Tourism is an important industry for the UAE & Nigeria is in a position to gain knowledge from Dubai’s success story. What advice would you give Nigerian entrepreneurs in order for them to get support from the Ministry to develop & grow this sector? Are there avenues within the National Enterprise Development Programme that could boost involvement within this industry?

Certainly, there are huge lessons to learn from the Dubai tourism industry and of course huge opportunities for collaboration, particularly with the vast natural attractions located all over the country. The Dubai story is quite inspiring due to the scale of vision and the timeline it has taken to deliver such growth. 

Tourism, Investment and Trade are related as the successful execution of one typically spurs investment in the others. Before you can become competitive in the tourism industry, you need to invest in the right infrastructure which in turn makes you more competitive in manufacturing and trade. 

This is the 1st major economic exhibition since COVID-19 and one of the most robust in history. It’s given DUBAI & its citizens an opportunity to showcase themselves on a global platform. Trifort Global would like to ask what avenues Nigerian companies should pursue in order to get international exposure for their goods & services. Perhaps there are schemes or incentives put together by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), that citizens can plug into.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), one of the agencies within the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is the gateway for Nigeria Exporters who, beyond getting the relevant information and export preparedness, also benefit from several Trade and Investments fairs that the country participates in annually. One of the key responsibilities of the NEPC is to provide international market access opportunities for qualified exporters and this was also done recently during the Intra-Africa Trade Fair held in Durban South Africa, the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 and several others.

However, the NEPC doesn’t provide market access in silos; they essentially coordinate with other relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure effective participation by the country and the key MDAs are also selected based on the type or nature of fairs bid to be attended.

Finally, we return to the $2 Billion investment & the impact of such news on creating a narrative that Nigeria is a great investment destination. Trifort Global would like to inquire about any other key policies or programmes being implanted by your ministry to attract foreign investment?

I would like to highlight some of the key initiatives being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to attract and retain investment into the Nigerian Economy:

The Ease of Doing Business Reforms 
These reforms have seen Nigeria moved from 169 to 131 in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Ranking primarily due to reforms introduced by the Government. We have also emerged as one of the only two African countries to be named among the top 10 most improved economies in the world. This was as a result of conscious efforts including the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in July 2016.

Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020
The repeal and re-enactment of Companies and Allied Matters Act,1990 (CAPC20, LFN2004) as CAMA 2020 provide a robust framework for reforming identified legal, regulatory and administrative bottlenecks, which for years, have made doing business in Nigeria substantially difficult and impeded investments into Nigeria.

Finance Act 2020
The Federal Government of Nigeria introduced the Finance Act, 2020 which took effect January 1st 2021. It introduces about 80 amendments to the existing tax and regulatory legislations in Nigeria aimed at addressing ambiguities and providing clarity and more incentives to mitigate the impact of COVID 19 amongst others.

Reform of Nigeria’s International Investment Agreements (IIAS)
Nigeria has also revised its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT); a specific provision for investment facilitation was inserted to institutionalize the principle of supporting investors to actualize their investments. This new model is a ‘new generation’ BIT that highlights the economic development objectives of the Government and balances investors’ rights with obligations in a bid to ensure that Nigeria attracts Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable (RIBS) investments.

Nigeria is one of 14 African countries to develop an online investment guide “iGuide Nigeria”, to help investors make better-informed decisions about investing in Nigeria. The iGuide Nigeria is an easy-to-use online platform that provides investors with up-to-date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of setting up and doing business in Nigeria. 

Book of States 
Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)’s effort to drive greater attention to subnational investment opportunities in Nigeria, led to the development of the Book of States, which captures the competitive advantages and the key investment opportunities being promoted by each of Nigeria’s 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in an easily accessible format, to help investors better appreciate the investment potentials across Nigeria.

One Stop Investment Center (OSIC) Lab
As part of efforts to modernize and upgrade our One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC), we are also in the pilot phase of instituting the OSIC Lab, which is aimed at achieving a speedy resolution of investors’ problems by bringing the investors and government agencies required to resolve their issues into a “laboratory” until the issue is resolved. The OSIC Lab should help us to drive practical policy reform, protect existing and prospective investments, encourage investments and create/protect jobs.  

We are optimistic that our collaboration with our strategic partners, particularly in the private sector will increase the volume of Foreign Direct Investment and the value of exports.  

Finally, the Federal Government remains committed to providing the relevant handholding to potential businesses or partners to aid their investment aspirations. As the Minister mandated to drive this agenda, I can confirm that we are open for business with institutions that share common interests in our priorities.