The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation has advised the Federal Government to target investments in critical infrastructure such as energy and transportation, research and innovation as well as develop special economic zones, industrial parks and clusters.
A representative of the organisation, Mr. Reuben Bamidele, stated this during the 2016 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Investment Conference with the theme: ‘Positioning the Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth’.
He advised the government to direct its net investment towards areas that would promote further investments.
The UNIDO representative stressed that it was imperative for Nigeria to aggressively pursue economic diversification.
He said, “The current state of the Nigerian economy requires massive injection of local and foreign investments to boost the level of economic activities in the country. Existing businesses need to be re-jigged while further investments are required to develop new enterprises. Thus, the business of local and foreign investment mobilisation need to be pursued with vigour.”
He said although previous administrations had attempted to promote investments in Nigeria, things had to be done differently this time.
He added, “First, we must not lose sight of the fact that investors are not particularly averse to any particular country or region. On the contrary, they move to where returns on investments are highest in their quest to maximise profits. Accordingly, the investment climate has to become friendlier to attract the needed investments. The good news is that the current administration is doing something in this regard and we are optimistic that it will work out fast and fine.”
According to Bamidele, although public-private partnership is needed in the development process, the public sector has to strengthen the private sector for the partnership to generate desired results.
In her opening remarks, the President, LCCI, Dr. Nike Akande, informed the gathering that the Nigerian investment climate was gradually improving with renewed investment in some critical infrastructure like rail transport and the ongoing reforms at the nation’s seaports.
She said, “The regulatory environment is also being strengthened with the fight against corruption, introduction of Code of Corporate Governance and the successful passage of the bill to establish a Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which will eventually abolish monopolies in Nigeria.
“I wish to use this opportunity to call on government to put in place a conducive policy and business environment where investments can thrive. The much needed industrial revolution in Nigeria requires massive inflow of foreign investment into productive sectors of the economy.
“There is therefore a need for strong institutions with strong adherence to sound corporate governance and international best practices. Our regulatory environment must portray a good sense of certainty and consistency of regulations and policies.”
BY: SAMED OLUKOYA
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