A consortium of 30 French companies from France, on Monday expressed readiness to invest in key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Mr Philippe Labonne, the Head of French delegation made this known when he led the investors on a visit to the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku in Abuja.
Labonne listed the key sectors to include banking, infrastructure, renewable energy and youth empowerment.
He said that the decision by the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the French Government for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.
According to him, the Nigerian economic environment is encouraging following the recent stability in the country’s foreign exchange market.
In a bid toward achieving their investment objective, Labonne said that most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterpart.
“We are here to access the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.
“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.
“We are interested in many areas such as energy, agriculture, services, especially toward youths and we will identify other areas subsequently,’’ Labonne said.
In her remarks, the Executive Secretary NIPC said that Nigeria remained a top destination of capital inflows in the African continent.
According to Sadiku, Nigeria is strategically located in Africa to serve the needs of many countries as a regional hub to the continent.
“We have a compelling population that provides the market which means that Nigeria can serve as a manufacturing hub for investors.
“Nigeria gets about six per cent of the Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) inflows and we remain a top destination of capital inflows.’’
While expressing delight for the interest by the investors, Sadiku said that France was one of the many countries that Nigeria was targeting in its focused investment strategy.
She reiterated the objectives of Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which she said charts governments expectations from an economic perspective to give investors comfort in areas to invest.
On investment inflows of FDIs, Sadiku said France appeared as number ten on the chart and represented about one billion dollars of the capital inflows that have come into Nigeria.
“But what we see of France is more than one billion dollars potentially of capital flows. As a country, we see potentially a lot more, if we work in building that relationship.
“And this event is one of such to deepen that investment relationship with the country and with the investors in the country.’’
On the Ease of Doing Business, she noted that there had been great improvement and the government was working actively on recording more improvements to ensure more investments in Nigeria.