Nigerian state governors on Thursday approved the release of $1 billion from the country’s excess oil account to the government to help fight the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency. The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to Nigeria’s accountant general. “We are pleased with the…
Following my piece last week on investment in Nigeria, I spoke with a young man from Nigeria, who has been in the United States for a few weeks on a business trip. Well, in my piece I enunciated the reasons Nigeria is still the best investment destination in Africa, and among growing economies in the world. Also, in that piece I carefully illuminated some profitable areas of investment and attempted to dissuade fears concerning the uncertainty of such investments
Speaking with someone whose expertise appears to provide valuable insight, a person who has the firsthand knowledge, is seminal to this sequel. Here are some of the excerpts of our conversation a few days ago:
I am Mr. Ejike, the Chairman and CEO of Mecfot Homes and properties Ltd. Meanwhile, I am based in Lagos and have lived in the city for several years. We are into real estate business, which I may tell you that has rapidly grown beyond our expectations. We have been in business for about five successful years in Lagos. Meanwhile, we cover Lagos State and Ogun State areas. We acquire land and buildings and sell them to clientele. Our customers are individuals, farmers, schools, banks, as well as personnel of other institutions. We have large customer base that keeps growing as we are working diligently not only sustain, but to continue to enlarge the base.
I am currently in the United States on a business trip. I will be attending the AFRIMA 2017 AWARDS AND MUSIC FESTIVAL, where I will use the opportunity to promote investment in Nigeria among Africans in the United States and Americans. Also, I plan to go to different Nigeran organizations to share positive news on investing in real estate in Nigeria. What I noticed about our people abroad is they lack confidence and trust in the people in Nigeria. This is primarily based on their past experience. But I am assuring them that this is new dawn and they could use EFCC to recover their investments if they sense any irregularity.
Regardless of the outcome of this particular visit, we plan to send our agents to United States next year to attend major Nigerian events in order to attract more customers.
Is it safe to invest in Nigeria?
I would categorically say that investment in Nigeria is safe. In real estate, my area of expertise, the most important thing is for the potential investors to do a thorough research to ensure that they are dealing with reliable companies and individuals. It is safer to invest in real estate, where you are assured of added value to your money within a very short period of time than in any other area. However, there are other areas that would require a long-term investment.
In any case, there are some elements of risks in any business. So, investments do have their own unique risks depending on the type. In real estate, I have always encouraged investors to do their own research before making their final decision. This would allow them to minimize potential risks.
His reaction to my article
When I read your article on investment in Nigeria, I felt like wow! This is the kind of article we want in order to elevate our country, Nigeria. We want positive stories that would encourage our people abroad and foreigners to invest in Nigeria massively. I was highly impressed when I read it because the piece conjured up an emotional feeling of thankfulness. It is time people started knowing about the true picture of the investment environment in Nigeria. I shared the article with my business friends and customers.
Attracting investors to Nigeria seems to the work every well-meaning Nigerian. Nevertheless, the federal government is making a diligent effort to create a conducive business climate that would appeal to both foreign and domestic investors. A recent press release from the Office of Vice President of Nigeria attests to that fact.
It stated, “In furtherance of the Buhari administration’s ease of doing business reforms, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, will, on Tuesday, consider new and specific initiatives to be implemented over a 60-day period in the National Action Plan 2.0.”
The press release continued, “It will be recalled that a previous 60-day National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business was approved on February 21, 2017. The National Action Plan contained initiatives and actions implemented by responsible Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the National Assembly, the Governments of Lagos and Kano states, as well as some private sector stakeholders.”
It added, “Also expected at the meeting are Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and Kano State Governor, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, as well as the Acting Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control, who was invited to the session, based on stakeholder feedback.”
The release also said, “PEBEC, which was inaugurated in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, comprises 10 Honourable Ministers, with the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah, as Vice Chair, along with the Head of Service, the Central Bank Governor, representatives of the National Assembly, Lagos and Kano states, and the private sector.”
It finally said, “Recently, the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) of the PEBEC released the 2016/2017 Reform Update document at the 5th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held in Abuja on September 11, where the role of regulators as business facilitators was further discussed. This event was chaired by Prof. Osinbajo, and attended by ministers and Heads of Agencies, as well as leading companies in the private sector.”