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    NES28: Experts suggest path to Economic growth

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    By Tony Tagbo, Abuja 

    A member of the Board of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Kyari Bukar said the level and quality of investment a country attracts depends on the quality of capital it receives and its commensurate return on investments. 

    He also stated that the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 -2025 aims to unlock Nigeria’s potential across various sectors of the economy to facilitate sustainable and inclusive development.

    Mr Bukar made these observations in his welcome remarks at the #NES28 Presummit Event themed: 

    Repositioning Public Governance in Nigeria for Global Competitiveness, investment attraction and Sustainable Development”, organised by the NESG and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in Abuja on Monday.

    He also stated the need for Nigeria to focus on specific sectors of the economy to deepen the attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), noting that Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates positions itself as an incubator for the provision of top-notch healthcare services.

     “Nigeria must identify economic areas in which it has a sectoral advantage to improve its FDI attraction. Nigeria’s growth has been driven by sovereign debt-induced growth, and the time is set for Nigeria to look at a different model that can help our country take a different approach to investment attraction,” he added.

    The country director, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), Dr Joe Abah, in his remarks, said that the ability to hold politicians to account is a critical element of democracy, noting that some of the problems of investment attraction include the issue of quality governance across all tiers of government and lack of an effective merit-based system. 

    Furthermore, Dr Abah said there is a need to improve national security, entrench safer transportation systems and focus more on ease of doing business to enable and strengthen the country’s progress in attracting foreign investments. 

    He noted the importance of introducing cash-based incentives in business regulatory environments, as they can help states and sub-nationals become more transparent.

     Dr Abah reiterated the importance of reforming business investment centres, noting that the public sector has a vital role in facilitating and coordinating investment promotion. 

    Also speaking, the chief executive officer for the promotion of private enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said that there is a need to change the public sector mindset from wanting to dominate the investment space to seeing the private sector as partners and changing the Ideological disposition of government players that don’t believe in a free market economy. 

    An investment professional, Ms Yewande Sadiku, stated that “we tend to underestimate the importance and efficiency of the judiciary and the various challenges, including corruption and bureaucracy, that investors face with getting goods out of Nigeria and obtaining and transferring foreign exchange”. 

    She noted that only a few companies can produce what they require in Nigeria without importing and that investors need the capacity to import and export foreign currency and require stability in the macroeconomic and political environment to plan for the future. 

    She revealed that portfolio investors have helped to keep the capital market visible, even as research has shown that a considerable percentage of investors start as portfolio investors before graduating to the direct investment end when they experience a favourable business environment. 

    Special adviser to the president on economic matters, office of the vice president, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, who was represented by the special assistant to the president on finance, office of the vice president, Ms Louisa Chinedu, said that bureaucracy is a major problem experienced in public governance, noting that public service has a significant influence on investor decision.

     “A study by the world bank identifies government responsiveness as the most important factor in encouraging foreign investments. Policy information, regulation and service delivery, recruiting on merit, training and fostering coordination across all sectors of government are all critical factors that can improve investment attraction, as various studies have established a correlation between attracting FDI and poor governance,” she revealed. 

    Ms Chinedu pointed out that Brazil was the 7th largest destination for global FDI flows in 2021 as a result of the critical reforms the country undertook in business and governance.

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