For the first time, Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK), today, Tuesday, held Economic Development Forum, during which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced that investor-interest is on the rise in Nigeria based on the tracking of investment.
The Economic Development Forum was signed in August 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Theresa May in London as a platform to foster economic and development ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Addressing the Forum which held at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, Professor Osinbajo said that the tracking showed a 37 percent increase from 2017 to 2018.
The Vice President said: “we have seen increased investor interest in Nigeria by the investment announcements that we track, with $90.9 billion of investment announcements in 2018, a 37 percent increase over the $66.4 billion tracked in 2017. We are interested in these announcements because we know that if we nurture them correctly, we can turn them into actual investments.
“There is also a steady rise in investor confidence, with an increase in the number of significant deal announcements. 18 days ago, Jumia, an online marketplace company that started in Nigeria, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the first African start-up to do so. It received such a warm investor response, that it has since appreciated over 125 percent!”
The Vice President said that already, there are four Nigerian companies listed on the main board of The London Stock Exchange, adding that only one Nigerian company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc is listed in both Nigeria and the UK.
“It is also fascinating that about half of the companies on the FTSE 100 have exposure to Nigeria.
“By leveraging the EDF, I hope that we will continue to build on the existing foundation and work together on recording increased trade and investment flows, particularly in the areas where we have comparative advantages.”
He said that in trying to boost investors’ confidence the Buhari administration is fully aware of the challenges that have hindered the business and investment environment in the country.
“We have taken these challenges as opportunities and have made the extensive build-out of modern infrastructure (both hard and soft) as the main thrust of our Administration.
“In the last three years, the government has allocated and disbursed over N3.5 trillion from the National budgets to infrastructure.
“The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) has made significant progress in reducing bottlenecks, eliminating redundancies and increasing transparency across government ministries, departments and agencies.
“There is undeniable evidence that the Buhari administration is repositioning the Nigerian economy for true growth and shared prosperity.”