The Co. Managing Partner of Comercio Partners Limited, Mr Steve Osho, who spoke at Nairametrics 2022 Corporate Dealsbook webinar on Saturday, said that the major challenge that has contributed to slowing down the inflow of investment into the country is the fiscal policy of the outgoing administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Osho noted that the government’s responses to a lot of challenges in the country have caused a lot of business investors to show apathy to the Nigerian market. He said:
“We have seen a reduction in FPI portfolio from $6.5 billion as of the second quarter of 2018 to about $15 billion in 2022.
“The number keeps on going down and the challenge is that a lot of people are reading the economic policy of the government. We could see that the numbers we are bringing out year on year on our budget, we have been running a budget deficit for over 7 to 10 years now.”
Hopeful in Tinubu’s business plan: He noted that the manifestoes of the new president-elect, Bola Tinubu have a slight shift from what the present regime has been doing adding that it touched on how to tackle the economy, and shrink or reorganize the structures of government.
“Now most of the investors are trying to look into Nigeria directly, and that means that we are going to see more inflows of FPI coming to the system because if you create enabling environment to attract some of this investment they are definitely going to come and from the policy regime on the manifestos that we see from the president-elect, it shows that we moving on that direction,” he said.
FDI likely to improve: Meanwhile, the Group Head of Investment Banking at Coronation Merchant Bank, Mr Taiwo Olatunji, said that FDI is likely to improve in Nigeria given Tinubu’s business posture and investment focus.
He noted that when he was the governor of Lagos, he was the first person to push for the idea of an independent power project in Nigeria and today “we have independent power projects across the country. It is expected that FDI will improve because as a market-focused government, it will allow the private sector to thrive”.
“In respect of FPI, I think that will take a bit of time because we still have the forex issues in Nigeria whereby we have multiple rate regimes- the official and informal windows. I think a lot of things need to be done here in a bid to bring about currency stability. FPI doesn’t want uncertainty around capital control issues and stability.
“What the new regime means to foreign exchange in the medium and long term is that we will expect market focus that will drive investors into the country.
“With the new government, what is expected is that export will increase, and FDI will increase what does that mean? The dollar will increase in the economy and if the dollar increases in the economy, the naira can be strengthened and it will improve our reserves when we have a strong reserve we can use it to safeguard our economy and invest in medium to long-term projects,” he said.
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