13 November 2017 | 10:31 am
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) said on Sunday that Nigeria remained most viable investment destination in Africa. Mr Alfred Okeke, NIPC’s Deputy Director, Department of States’ Coordination, spoke in Enugu, at the maiden South-East Economic Summit (SEES), with the theme:
“Repositioning South-East for Rapid Economic Development.’’ The summit was organised by the South-East Governors’ Forum, in conjunction with British Department for International Development (DFID), Nigeria. Okeke said that the country was blessed with “ very vast abundant agro-allied, gas reserve and natural mineral deposits.’’ “As it stands today, our blessed country has 84 million hectares of arable land for agricultural cultivation, agro-allied ventures and its value chain businesses.
“We have the largest gas reserves in the world and 44 exploitable minerals in proven commercial quantities,’’ he said. Okeke said that Nigeria also had the largest market in Africa with proximity to other West African markets as well as land borders with Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, with four international airports.
He said that the Federal Government was already implementing a strategic plan to tackle short term macro-economic challenges. According to him, the country has over 56 multi-national companies with annual revenue of over 500 million dollars and largest cluster of large companies in Africa. Okeke also listed other potentials that made the country investors’ destinations: “Young and skilled workforce with 43 per cent of the population under 15 years; with improved labour productivity and over 1.8 million new graduates every year to provide man-power needs of emerging and expanding industries and businesses.
“Rising consumer spending projected to increase by 94 billion dollars in 2025. “Robust financial markets with seven of the top 25 banks in Africa and the second largest stock exchange on the continent. “Investor friendly climate with strong appetite to encourage private sector investments by the government. `Generous statutory incentives with 14 Free Trade Zones,’’ Okeke said.