By Favour Nnabugwu
The re-appointed Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, Saratu Umar has set a target for Foreign Direct Investment routes for the country.
Umar stated at the inauguration in Abuja today, “Yesterday is gone. Today is a new day. The past is a place of learning, not a place of living. “We must stay focused on today and tomorrow, and how to make tomorrow an even greater day.”
She pledged to reposition the NIPC to attract new routes of foreign investments into Nigerian to shore up the dwindling revenue of the government and the much needed jobs.
The NIPC executive said that the NIPC will support the federal government’s various general and sectoral policies, and executive pronouncements and take to a logical conclusion the National Investment Promotion Masterplan which is aimed at having clear actions that key into the government’s various sectoral masterplans and policies.
She said “We will orchestrate and execute targeted investment drives along country-specific, investor-specific, sector-specific, industry-specific, regional-specific, and investment-type specific strategies to facilitate FDI (and LDI – Local Direct Investment) that fit into Nigeria’s development and investment needs, in an inclusive, coordinated, tangible, measurable and effective manner.”
“We will logically conclude the National Investment Promotion Coordination Framework, to provide a clear strategy for a seamless collaboration and coordination of the Investment eco-system, as well as usher in a robust and effective stakeholder communication and engagement. This will result in effective partnerships between NIPC and critical stakeholders including the international community and development partners.
“We will listen to, and work with, our stakeholders. Indeed, within the next two months, we will hold the second series of our stakeholder engagement which we started in 2014, with various key stakeholder sessions to discuss their challenges, interact, and obtain feedback towards resolving them and creating synergies that facilitate impact.”
“Global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) markets over the last decade have become more competitive, and the investment promotion thrusts of countries that are attracting the largest global market share of FDI inflows are driven by effective, efficient, and performance-driven Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). With over 170 IPAs worldwide competing to channel FDI to their different countries, it is imperative that the NIPC is positioned to ensure Nigeria wins in this global market.
This is especially important with the onset of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which is now in force. In 2021, a UN report noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Africa grew by 147 percent; this has accentuated the race by African economies to showcase their investment climate reforms and business-friendly policies, facilitated by very competitive IPAs that are vying for a greater share of inbound investment.
Critical shifts in the AfCTA and ECOWAS Investment Protocols, as well as the on-going development of the national investment promotion policy, the national trade policy and the national industrial development policy, require that the central and strategic role of the NIPC in the coordination of all investment promotion activities in the Nigerian Economy, should be established, enshrined and repositioned as envisaged in its enabling Law, without prejudice.
“Therefore, as it was in 2014, so it is in 2022: I am still fully committed to excellence and professionalism. If you would recall, my vision when I assumed duty in 2014 was: “to transform NIPC into a gold standard of excellence on the African Continent and a world-class Investment Promotion Agency, that is comparable to any in the world”.