Despite challenges, Osinbajo upbeat on investments

Osinbajo dares Senate, says Magu is going nowhere

In what looks like an afterthought, Nigeria’s hope that its declining foreign direct investment (FDI) will soon be reversed looks remote.

The Vice President, Prof. Yomi Osinbajo, who had last week lamented the percentage reduction of Nigeria’s FDI, at the weekend tried to reverse himself by noting that the FDI looked promising.

According to Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant-Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Osinajo in a media chat, expressed delight that a number of foreign and local investors had indicated readiness to impact significantly on the country’s economy. 

But figures obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics say Nigeria lost about 35 per cent of its FDI in the past one year, worse than South Africa and Ghana.

Since the beginning of this year, when oil price fell to its worst level in decades, the local currency, the naira has taken a slide to the point of exchanging at N400 per dollar, a fortnight ago.

To worsen the situation, some major oil importers of Nigerian oil are on the verge of reducing their volumes, one of them being the United States, which is coming down by 35 per cent.

The inability of government to find lasting solution to the incidence of militancy in the oil rich Niger Delta region added more troubles to the country as its daily oil output is feared to have reduced to 500 bpd.

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It further went down lower to about 700 bpd, last week, when two major oil firms in Nigeria, Shell and Chevron, were compelled to shut down their facilities after persisting attacks by the restive youths in the region.

But Osinbajo told reporters that unnamed foreign investments were already indicating interests in the government’s planned concessioning of the Nigerian railway services.

“The investments are coming in for railing stock, there are many such investments that people are looking at, because when you look at it, this is a country of 170 million people and with a very vibrant economy for that matter. 

“Another important sector that investors are looking at is agriculture, where a major Mexican company and producers of agriculture have already come in and are understudying the sector in 10 states.”

He said Nigeria is also focusing on local investments like the Dangote Refinery, which targets 650,000 bpd as well as the sorghum plant that is being done by Honeywell, among others.

But most of these projections may be actualised between 2017 and 2019, meaning that immediate solution to the economic crisis is yet to be found.



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