By Bassey Udo
Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, interest by prospective investors in Nigeria climed by about 39 percent in 2021, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has said.
The acting Executive Secretary the NIPC, who spoke at a media briefing on the activities of the investment agency said investment announcements in 2021 sas valued at about $23.30 billion compared to about $16.74 billion tracked in 2020.
“The increase in value is indicative of the growing adaptation to the global ‘new normal’ after the economic disruption occasioned by the restrictions imposed to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It also indicates the growing confidence of investors in the efforts to improve the national investment landscape,” the acting executive secretary, NIPC, Emma Offor, said.
The year 2021, he said, was a critical one for investores in Nigeria and globally, adding that it was regaining from the disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
In terms of announcements in states of the Federation by value of investments, the Commission identified top five destinations to include Lagos ($8.7 billion), Bayelsa ($3.6 billion), Delta ($2.9 billion), Akwa Ibom ($2 billion), and Adamawa ($1 billion).
Sectorally, the NIPC boss said the manufacturing sector led the top five sectors for the year with the highest number of projects (20) as well as the highest value ($10.5 billion), or 45 percent, followed by Construction (16 percent), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (13 percent), information and communication (12 percent), and mining and quarrying (9 percent)
Offor explained that the investment sector would be adopting a new strategic plan for the year 2022 with a focus on profilling opportunities in each state and sustaining engagements with the sub-national governments.
“We would continue to build on past successes while charting new paths for sustainable development of the capacity of staff of the State Investment Promotion Agencies, while also stimulating healthy competition for investments across the regions and the States,” he said.
“We would leverage on our relationships with the Executive of the States to ensure sustained appreciation of the issues of the business environment with the understanding that the aggregation of the sub-national perception forms the national image, and also expand the coverage of the Nigerian Investment Certification Programme for States (NICPS),” he added.
Besides, he said during the period, the NIPC would aim at completing the reform process initiated on the process and administrative framework of the Pioneer Status Incentive under the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.
In addition, he said the Commission would undertake the review of the qualifying list to include emerging activities that required government support, while delisting activities that are matured.
As at the end of 2021, Offor said companies that registered under the NIPC Act in the 1st quarter of the were 119; 2nd quarter 118; 3rd quarter 166, and 4th quarter 147.
On the hand, in terms of the companies that inquired at the one-stop investment centre about investment opportunities in Nigeria during the year, the NIPC said it received a total of 1927 inquiries, consisting 446 inquiries in the 1st quarter; 511 in the 2nd quarter; 518 in the 3rd quarter, and 452 in the 4th quarter.