The Federal Government has said that its efforts at attracting Foreign Direct Investment FDI needed to grow the economy may not yield the expected results unless relevant agencies enhanced the ease of doing business in the country.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enalama, who was reacting to claims by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council NIPC and the Corporate Affairs Commission that the country has recorded an improvement in the ease of doing business, told newsmen in Onne recently that all hands must be on deck if the country must achieve this desire. According to him, apart from the safety of his investment and huge returns, an average investor looks for where he would experience little of no hitches in the course of doing business, which impacts on cost and efficiency. He noted that the two agencies are strategic in the government’s drive to attract both local and foreign investments into the country.
He also warned that specific agencies of the government, especially those under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment should also be conscious that the country is in competition with other regions in terms of attracting investments, adding that the investor would go to climes where his interest is best protected.
“We should at all times be seen to be creating the enabling environment for industrial growth and development, facilitating both regional and international trade as well as promoting investment inflows” the Minister said. On the claims by the CAC that it can complete the process of registration of a company, the Minister said: “If you are sure of what you are saying, you can announce it to the world and if they find it to be true, they will hail all of us but if not, Nigerians will ‘kill` you”.
He insisted that communication is key, as one needs to announce his capabilities to the entire world to see and take advantage of, arguing that if Nigeria will attract the desired investment, she must be listed among countries with the best index of ease of doing business. Enelamah had said recently during a retreat that the government is currently discussing with some foreign investors from the United States and China, who have indicated interest to invest in the Nigeria’s proposed regional industrial parks.
The proposed parks, which are expected to enhance the ease of doing business by providing one-stop shop for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises SMEs and other industrial outfits, are designed to enhance industrialization and therefore boost the nation’s non-oil export base.