Nigeria Attracted $30 Billion FDI Commitments in Months, President

President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu revealed at the 2023 Leadership Annual Conference and Award in Abuja that his administration has attracted $30 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) commitments to bolster Nigeria’s economy over the past nine months.

Represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Tinubu emphasised that despite facing challenging times, Nigeria has garnered unprecedented opportunities to revamp its economy and foster sustainability.

Highlighting the sectors benefiting from these investments, Tinubu mentioned manufacturing, telecoms, health care, oil and gas, among others, with investments already underway. He cited recent discussions with Qatar’s Emir, expressing optimism about forthcoming engagements to accelerate investment initiatives.

Tinubu also lauded Nigeria’s economic performance, citing a growth rate of 3.46% in the last quarter of 2023 and a notable increase in capital importation. He highlighted milestones such as the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index crossing the 100,000 points mark in January 2024.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by ongoing reforms, Tinubu reassured Nigerians of the government’s commitment to mitigating hardships and stabilising the economy. He urged patience and support from all sectors, including the media, emphasising the importance of reporting on solutions and opportunities alongside challenges.

Meanwhile, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has raised concerns over the impact of expatriate employment levy on FDI.

Sharing similar sentiments to the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) regarding the recently announced expatriate employment levy, LCCI cautioned that it could potentially hinder foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows.

Director-General of LCCI, Chinyere Almona, emphasised the importance of adopting a balanced approach to the levy to prevent it from becoming a deterrent to attracting and retaining foreign investments, crucial for economic growth.

The federal government introduced the mandatory annual levy on February 27, aiming to bridge wage gaps between expatriates and Nigerian workers while encouraging skill transfer and local employment in foreign-owned companies. However, concerns persist regarding its impact on FDI.

While acknowledging the policy’s objectives, Almona stressed the need for a nuanced approach, highlighting potential negative perceptions among foreign investors and the risk of companies relocating to more favourable business environments in neighbouring countries.

Furthermore, she warned of possible retaliatory measures by other nations, potentially affecting diaspora remittances and the overall investment climate.

Almona called for exemptions for sectors requiring specialised skills and urged concessions or exemptions for critical sectors experiencing supply shortages, such as construction and food production. She suggested aligning the levy with internationally accepted rates to maintain Nigeria’s appeal as an investment destination.