About 30 state governments could not attract any form of fresh investments into their states between January and June this year, an analysis of a capital importation report obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics has shown.
The report revealed that only five states within the first six months of this year recorded any form of fresh investment inflow in key sectors of the economy.
The states that got new investments are Lagos State, which attracted the highest amount of $2.6bn during the six months period, followed by Akwa Ibom with $52.44m.
The Federal Capital Territory followed with $31.51m while Ogun State attracted fresh investment inflows of $5.31m; Oyo had $5.25m, and Rivers recorded $550,000 of investments.
The states that could not attract any form of investment inflows are Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kano.
Others are Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
The document from the NBS gave the sectors where the funds were invested as shares, which had the highest amount of $932.58m; agriculture, $23.71m; banking, $89.8m; brewing, $4.83m; construction, $1.71m; and consultancy, $4.2m.
Others are drilling, $1.21m; electrical, $6.38m; financing, $57.31m; Information Technology services, $6.28m; marketing, $90,000; oil and gas, $190.39m; and production, $141.42m.
The rest are servicing, $145.56m; hotels, $170,000; telecoms, $174.18m; and trading, $12.53m.
The President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, told our correspondent that a lot of investors would continue to adopt what he described as a “wait and see attitude” owing to the tough economic environment in the country.
He said the tough operating environment had led to the closure of so many companies in Nigeria, adding that there was a need for the government to address the structural challenges, which had made the operating environment hostile.
He listed some of the areas that were scaring away investors to include uncertainty in the foreign exchange market; hostile business climate; infrastructure deficit, and the absence of adequate incentives to attract investors into key sectors of the economy.
Ejinkeonye said what the country needed was for the government to implement a well articulated industrial plan and an enterprise development agenda aimed at bringing in a new era for industrial development in Nigeria.
He said, “The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made it known to the government that the issue of power and energy must be urgently addressed in order to promote industry, boost productivity, and attract both foreign and local direct investment.
“Power and energy sufficiency is the fulcrum of any meaningful development of the economy. This is the time for us as a nation to start implementing consistent policies geared towards attracting investments that would revitalise our industries.”
On what the chamber was doing to attract investors into the country, he said the ACCI was working with embassies to identifying areas of investment.
He said that the ACCI’s trade facilitation endeavours and investment drive were in line with the current government’s policies of promoting trade and investment in the country.
The Managing Director of an investment promotion firm, Footprints for Africa, Mr. Osita Oparaugo, said the poor perception of foreign investors about the Nigerian business climate was one of the major reasons for the decline in investment inflows into the country.
Oparaugo, whose firm is currently into partnership with five African countries including Nigeria on investment drive, explained that while there were many investment opportunities in the country, the harsh operating environment was limiting the interests of investors in key sectors of the economy.
He said, “There are numerous investment opportunities in Nigeria but a lot of investors particularly the foreign investors are not taking this advantage owing to the fact that they have a poor perception of the investment climate.
“This is understandable when you consider the fact that the operating environment is not friendly and the lack of continuity in some programmes of government.”