By Oluwafunke Ishola
Investors are beginning to show renewed interest in Nigeria’s economy, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, the Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), has said.
Oduwole, who also serves as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, made this known on Thursday in Lagos.
She spoke at an International Investment Conference organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Oduwole, represented by Mr Akin Olusoji of the PEBEC, said: “Stock market rallied at 36 per cent since the beginning of the year till date.
“From January to August, about 22 billion dollars of investment has been announced in 41 projects across 22 states in Nigeria.
“Capital inflow into the country has almost doubled to 1.8 billion dollars in the second quarter compared to the figure in the first quarter.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identified the ease of doing business as a critical factor for driving industrialisation and investment,” she said.
Oduwole noted that as the government continued to implement the ERGP and improve the business environment, the investment climate of the economy would be impacted positively.
According to her, various reforms and policies initiated by the government spurred the improvement of Nigeria’s ranking from 169 to 145 on the recently released World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report.
She said that government would continue to pursue reforms aimed at stimulating the economic growth and boost the inflow of investment into the country.
Earlier, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said that the Federal Government was passionate about rapid and sustainable development of the industrial sector.
He said that the government was committed to resuscitating the ailing industries, evolving various reforms and incentives that would deepen industrialisation of the economy.
The minister was represented by Mr Olajide Bamidele, the Assistant Director, Investment Promotion Department in the ministry.
In her remarks, Mrs Eme Essien, the Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC), urged Nigeria not to rest on its oars based on its improved ranking on the Ease of Doing Business Report.
Essien urged the government to encourage collaboration and set targets that would assist it to achieve sustainable development.
Mrs Nike Akande, President of LCCI, commended the improvement in Nigeria’s ranking by the World Bank.
“This reflects the impact of government’s efforts to improve the business environment.
“I will like to reiterate the need for the government at all levels to sustain the current efforts and reforms toward the creation of a more conducive business and investment environment,” Akande said.
She said the country needs private sector capital to bridge the huge financing gaps that currently exists in many aspects of the economy.
“To address this deficit, we need to attract investments from within the domestic economy and across the globe to complement the available resources in the economy.
“Government needs to provide the enabling environment to attract the needed investments from within Nigeria and abroad,” she said.