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Global Investors Still Interested in Nigeria – Ernst & Young

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A Partner and Emerging Markets and Global Deputy Leader, Ernst & Young, Mr. Rohan Malik, has said international investors are interested in investing in Nigeria as the country presents huge opportunities.

According to Punch, Malik identified the financial services sector as one of the five sectors that hold massive opportunities for Nigeria amid the sustained drop in global oil prices.

Other sectors, according to him, are telecommunications, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture.

Malik, who visited Nigeria last week, said, “I think the international community is looking at Nigeria with great expectations from the new regime. When I talked to international investors, they see Nigeria as a beacon of hope because of the vast demographic dividend you have got with the young population. I feel the government should take this opportunity with the low oil price to say, ‘What could this low oil price actually give to us?’”

He said investors would be interested in investing in any part of the world where they can get investment opportunities with the right optimum level of risks and returns.

He said, “Today Nigeria has to compete for investments with the likes of India, China, the Middle East, South America, the so-called higher growth markets.

“The global investors are still looking at deals. I was talking to some of the investors recently and they said, ‘We have got more money than bankable projects today.’ In other words, money is not the problem. So I think Nigeria is to compete in a much harsher climate today with other economies and they are looking at Nigeria vis-a-vis India, China and others.”

He explained, “The sector where I believe there is an advantage which Nigeria has got, but it comes down to how you formalise and shape these, are financial services. Thinking about banking the unbanked, people who don’t have bank accounts today are huge. It is a huge opportunity to get them on.

“Telecommunications. If you look at the opportunities which technology is giving today to governments around the world and for citizens, there is a huge amount of opportunities right now.”

He noted that the biggest area could be agriculture, saying, “If you think about the volume of people in Nigeria who are involved in agriculture – over 50 per cent – how can you ignore the biggest sector of all? And agriculture can lead to things like food processing.

“So financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture will give you great dividends,” Malik said.

He described the decline in oil prices as an opportunity for economies who depend on oil as a major source of revenue to make change happen.

“So, I feel this is a golden opportunity for the government to actually shape policies that will deliver impact to the vast majority of the population in Nigeria.”

The EY partner, who stressed the need for the government to encourage entrepreneurship in the country, said government bureaucracies, regulations and lack of policy implementation were some of the challenges facing entrepreneurs.

He said, “Access to funding remain an issue, not because there is no funding; it is because there are not enough bankable projects. Many entrepreneurs don’t know what it will take to fund a business. They underestimate very often the actual amount of investment required.

“The second one is access to markets. Many entrepreneurs don’t understand how they can access the markets beyond the local context; how they can be national and international. For me, that is a common challenge that I find right now that an entrepreneur or a small business remains local.

“I think this is a huge challenge that government think that their job is done when they produce policies. That is the first step on the journey. How can you go from policy to outcomes is the challenge, and entrepreneurs suffer from that.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Investment

Nigeria’s Insecurity Issues Force Mexican Investors to Stall Investment Plans

The insecurity issues ravaging Nigeria have forced some Mexican investors to put a hold on their plans to invest in the country.

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The insecurity issues ravaging Nigeria have forced some Mexican investors to put a hold on their plans to invest in the country.

This was disclosed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico Hon. Adejare Bello.

He said that the Nigerian embassy frequently receives inquiries from investors about their plans to invest in the country and for possible collaboration.

With the abundance of natural resources in Nigeria, these investors have been looking to invest in areas such as gold mining, oil and gas, and agriculture, as well as partnering with Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote in the area of fertilizer procurement.

Unfortunately, these investors have stepped back on their plans due to the incessant attacks and insecurity challenges bedeviling the country.

In his words, “In the last decade, one of the critical challenges facing the Nigerian economy is the lack of adequate security of life and properties which has made the country lose so much in terms of foreign direct investment.

“The present situation in the country is very clear evidence of the impact of insecurity on the nation’s development in general and on the economy in particular.

“Lives are lost in the bombings, properties destroyed and businesses collapse as some businessmen who are not indigenes of the affected states leave and migrate to other states. Even the indigenes are taken to refugee camps leading to an increase in government expenditure”

Hon. Bello stated that the insecurity issues in the country have led to a slowdown of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which is worrisome, noting that it would be beneficial to the country due to its recent economic challenges.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to summon the political will necessary to ensure adequate internal security on a sustainable basis and create a friendly investment climate for inflows of foreign capital into the country.

Investors King understands that Nigeria’s insecurity challenges have not only slowed down investment inflow in the country, but it has also led to the exit of several multinational firms.

The country continues to miss out on so many opportunities of attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) due to escalating insecurity crisis.

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Ogun State Government Inaugurates Ogun Invest, Facilitates Agency

Ogun State Government on Friday inaugurated the Ogun State Investment and facilitation Agency, commonly referred to as the OGUNINVEST.

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Governor Abiodun of Ogun State

Ogun State Government on Friday inaugurated the Ogun State Investment and facilitation Agency, commonly referred to as the OGUNINVEST.

The inaugural ceremony was held at the Governor’s Office in Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

The Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun who led the inauguration said the newly inaugurated OGUNINVEST would promote the state and give access to both local and international investors.

The Governor, during the ceremony, said his administration had so far attracted nothing less than 36 investment portfolios that are worth over $1 billion.

He said that the investments altogether were able to generate over 40,000 jobs for the citizens of the state, and the facilitation agency would strengthen governance and diversification in Ogun state.

Abiodun disclosed that the primary focus of the agency is positioned on making the state an investment of choice, generating wealth for all in Ogun State citizens, and helping the private sectors grow.

He said, ” The facilitation agency is committed to attracting, facilitating, and nurturing investments into Ogun State.

“Our administration through Oguninvest Will continue to play the role of the enabler and facilitator to help the private sector grow, create jobs, and generate wealth for all in Ogun State.

“We have continued to reap a bountiful harvest from our commitment as existing investments are thriving and new investments are being attracted. As of today, we’ve been able to attract 36 new investments into Ogun State worth over a billion United States dollars and generated an estimation of over 40,000 jobs since the inception of OGUNINVEST.”

He disclosed that his administration has always been committed to the growth of the industrial sector in the state and that his administration would soon commence the construction of the Special Agro Processing Zone by November 2022.

The Governor included that a lot of tax reforms had been introduced under his administration, ensuring that multiple taxes were removed and his administration has also successfully made its payment process digital.

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Nigerian Investors Petitions Kenya Courts to Release Funds Held in Several Bank Accounts

2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

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A petition has been made by more than 2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

These investors claim that they were duped billions of shillings by a sports betting platform (86FB) that used Nigerian and African Fintech company Flutterwave to process payments.

Citing Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws, these investors are demanding that the sum of $12 million is split from the Ksh 6.6 B ($55 M) that was frozen in July in 62 bank accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity Bank, Ecobank, and UBA Bank, as well as in 19 Safaricom paybill numbers.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted permission to freeze Ksh 5.17 B (USD 49 M) in 29 GTB accounts, with the remaining funds held in accounts at Equity and Ecobank in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.

The large sums are alleged to be the proceeds of theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering that were wired under the guise of payments for goods and services.

One of the investors who identified himself as Morris Ebitimi Joseph claimed that he and other investors had filed a new lawsuit in Nigeria to seek the return of their funds.

They argued that a portion of the money belonged to them and have opposed the attempt to forfeit it to the Kenyan government which they claimed were fraudulent proceeds.

In his words, “I believe that the issuance of an order compelling Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank, and Ecobank to deposit the sums excluded in the bank account of our advocates, justice shall be served to the 2,468 interested parties who were swindled of their hard-earned money through the scheme”.

Morris claimed that the investors put money into the investment scheme on the promise of better returns from the betting business, but however, never materialized.

Before the payments stopped, according to them, everything was fine for about six months. He also shared that after conducting research, he came to the conclusion that the operation was questionable, and now wants to join the case and help the court resolve the issue.

The Nigerian contingent is requesting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which declared in July that Flutterwave is not licensed in Kenya, to ask that the court issue an order directing Access Bank, Safaricom, and United Bank of Africa to deposit the excluded amount in the account of his attorneys.

“The claim made by the applicant/intended interested party represents the interest of 2,468 persons, thus occasioning monumental public interest.

Failure to expeditiously determine whether the application is in like fashion constitutes substantive and irreparable injustice,” Joseph says. He contends that there may be more people with an interest in the funds in addition to the 2,468 people who are requesting an injunction.

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