Nigeria recorded a total investment commitment of 83 billion dollars between January 2017 and March, Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said.
Enelamah spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening session of the Direct Investors Summit Nigeria, expected to attract over 190 investors from 40 countries in key sectors of the economy.
The summit was organised by Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission.
He said: “The country secured a total investment of 66 billion dollars in 2017 while the balance of 17 billion dollars investment was secured in the first quarter of this year.
“The investment commitments of 83 billion dollars were secured in three key sectors of the economy, namely oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate.’’
According to him, the summit is appropriate as it will help to translate the 83 billion dollars investment commitment into actual investments.
He said that the present administration had taken a number of steps to genuinely engage stakeholders in order to unlock investment opportunities in the country.
Enelamah said: “The country has had a fair share of adversity in the past but this government has identified the challenges and solving them through partnerships.”
On the African Continental Free Trade Zone, the minister said the government had yet to assent to the agreement as consultations were still on-going.
Enelamah said the consultations were being done to ensure that the government signed a pact that would be beneficial to the general interest of the Nigerian economy.
In her speech, Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of NIPC, said the government was committed to attracting investments.
Sadiku said: “The government is committed to attracting fresh investments in key sectors of the economy, the aims of the summit is to bring together investors both local and foreign to unlock potential investments.’’
Sadiku said the commission was working with state governments to improve national competitiveness as there was a need for the states to be receptive to attract investors.
She said: “The states must be receptive to attract investors because investors go to where they can get attention and a friendly environment.’’
She said the commission was working with key stakeholders to see more Nigerians invest in the country.
During a panel discussion titled: “Doing Business in States: Opportunities and Incentives’’, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El Rufai, called on the Federal Government to assist the state address insecurity.
El-Rufai said his administration had put in place a lot of measures, such as tax holidays, establishment of one- stop investment shop, among others to attract investors to the state.
He said: “We have about 500 million dollars domestic and foreign investments in my state.”
Other members of the panel were Osun Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; Anambra Governor, Willy Obiano, represented by his Deputy, Nkem Okeke, and Ogun Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, also represented his Deputy, Yetunde Onanuga.
They said there was a need to promote the ease of doing business to attract investments.
According to them, the economic diversification agenda may not yield rapid success except there is a strong commitment on the part of the Federal government to assist in tackling the problems of insecurity, power and poor infrastructure.
The event was attended by the Ministers of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, the Minister of Works Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, among others.