Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah has revealed that over $20 billion investments streamed into the Nigerian economy since the current Federal Executive Council was constituted about 12 months ago.
Speaking with select journalists in Abuja on Friday, the minister said the investments were to address the infrastructure gap in the country.
“Yes, people seem surprised about how big investment inflows are, because they have come in large chunks, but let me tell you that we have gotten well over $20 billion.
You know why? It’s because of the major infrastructure projects. What we call an inflow is not just when the money comes physically, it also includes the commitments that we have.
“So, if you look at the infrastructure projects that we are doing, it’s huge. There is a $20 billion or more infrastructure project with the China EXIM bank, it’s been signed and it’s now implemented around railways and related infrastructure. There is agreement with General Electric which is about $2billion which they have committed in the last one year. There are the private sector investments that talk about Chellarams which sold a major part of their business to Kelloggs of the United States. That deal is around $400 million.
“Again, there was a deal that was done by Chi- the fruit juice company with Coca-Cola which is also hundreds of millions of dollars. There is also a deal where BUA sold something to one of the international players, which bought a part of that group, again, it is sizable sum”, he explained.
The Minister further stated that despite the investments, the Buhari administration wants to increase the steady inflow of foreign direct investment across all levels as there are many more people waiting on the side lines to partner with the country in developing the economy.
“Apart from the big people who are doing multi-billion infrastructure projects, as you know, the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), has just appointed a new hand for the private sector. As a government, we want to partner with the private sector. Government doesn’t have all the money it needs to develop the country.
Therefore, government is willing and committed to partnering with the private sector players by making sure capital goes into the right places. So, I think you will find that in investment, things are picking up even in terms of statistics, there is a significant uptick in investment even though some of it has to do with fixed income investment, but it’s still capital that we need”, he added.
Enelamah said the oil companies operating in the country have reached an agreement to increase funding of the sector.
“You will hear more about it from next week. We are just going through the process. You know oil, everybody has a stake in it,” he explained
The minister also said the government was working hard to dismantle the bureaucratic bottlenecks laced on exporters’ paths which have made it difficult for Nigerians to ferry goods overseas.
“The bottlenecks in terms of administration, bureaucracy, red tape and all the approvals you have to get, all the inspections and all the waiting at the ports need to be addressed. For people that are serious about export, we’ll make that a competitive advantage by making export processes easier.
The second thing we need to do is to give more incentives to those that are exporting so that they will prefer exporting particularly value added exports.
We have met with the exporters to look at Export Expansion Grants and we have told them that we will find a mechanism for making sure they get paid what they are owed. We clearly want to do it not in cash but in kind”, he noted.