Nigeria has the most attractive environment for investment despite the current infrastructure challenge facing it, Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, Country Director, World Bank, Nigeria, has said.
Marie-Nelly stated this on the sidelines of the launch of the World Bank’s Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) report in Abuja on Thursday.
She, however, said there was need for the country to improve its business environment in order to maximise the hugely untapped investment opportunities that exist across the country.
Marie-Nelly said, “Nigeria has the most attractive environment for investment because Nigeria is a large market in the continent; it is the second largest economy in the continent. It is a market that any investor cannot ignore with over 160 million people and a gateway to ECOWAS. For me, while we say the country’s current investment climate could be better in terms of providing electricity, access to finance and other things, you should also look at the huge opportunities for investment in Nigeria.
“The basic lesson from the World Bank Assessment Report titled, ‘Nigeria, an Assessment of the Investment Climate in 26 States’, is that there are critical constraints in Nigeria that impede the development of the non-oil sector. Some of the critical issues include electricity, which affects the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises. However, the labour cost in Nigeria is actually lower than most of Nigeria’s competitors such as Brazil and South Africa. So, there is need for Nigeria to address some of the constraints in order to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities that exist in the country.”
Corroborating Marie-Nelly’s views at the launch, governor of Anambra State and Vice Chairman, Nigeria’s Governors’ Forum, Peter Obi, noted that foreigners’ perception of Nigeria was at variance with the true situation in the country.
In his keynote address titled, ‘Reforming Nigeria’s Investment Climate’, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said that Nigeria’s domestic investment grew by 46 percent in 2011.
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