In a world where data is often mistaken, misrepresented and mis-quoted figuring out which data to believe can be quite onerous. Just which one do you accept official? unofficial? or Generally Accepted?. I guess its probably the one that suits your need at any point in time or the one that becomes readily available at the time of need. Take for example he Central Bank Annual Report that was released last week. The report included a flurry of data on the Nigerian economy from the point of view of the CBN. One of such Data was the amount of Foreign Direct Investment that came into Nigeria in 2011. The CBN put this figure at $1,753,346, 22% of the $7.9b in Capital Inflow into the country. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report put their own figure at $8.92b, a whopping $7.1b difference. Who do we believe??
For me though, I do not have the UNCTAD report and can’t verify the metrics that they used. The CBN on the other hand had in its reports a breakdown of all Capital Inflows into the country. A detailed insight into where foreign investors channel most of their money. As the report depicts, Portfolio Investment in equity was $1.4b of the total $1.75b in FDI. Portfolio Investment in Equity was also the highest in total garnering $5.1b of the total inflow of $$7.9b. See below;
Just as I thought I had resolved this issue there seem to be a lot more confusion. The CBN’s recently released Q1 External Sector Report puts “FDI” into the country for the first quarter of this year at $1.72b less than the $2.13b posted in Q4 2011!!! So if FDI for Q4 2011 was $2.13b in 2011, then what is the $1.7b mentioned in their annual report above???