FG secures $30b investment commitments

•To create job centres nationwide

•Says Shell not divesting from Nigeria

The Federal Government has secured $30 billion Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) commitment which would be a game-changer in the efforts to accelerate the nation’s economic growth.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday.

She said, “Our bilateral engagements have been fruitful and have led to significant investment announcements and partnership opportunities for Nigerian trade. A notable example is the G20 summit in India, where a $14bn worth of FDI inflow to Nigeria was announced and being actualized.

“We have also got $10 billion for oil and gas investment commitments.

“Since then, we have seen the Confederation of Indian Industries visiting Nigeria to further explore identified investment opportunities. These engagements with India, Germany, Netherlands, UAE, South Africa, and others have opened up avenues for investment and the establishment of joint regulatory protocols.”

Dr. Uzoka-Anite said that several millions of jobs would be created as those investment funds roll into the economy.

Trade facilitation

The Minister said that her team was working to enhance trade opportunities for Nigerians through the Trade Intelligence Unit to create a fully automated Centre of Excellence.

“This centre will employ top-tier talent and collaborate with world-class institutions for the purpose of gathering and analyzing trade intelligence,” she said.

Dr. Uzoka-Anite added that the ministry has also re-launched the Nigerian Trade Policy 2023-2027, which was geared at stimulating the domestic economy by connecting Nigerian SME’s to the global value chain thereby ensuring that Nigerian businesses have the capacity to be globally competitive.

She added, “In furtherance of ensuring this global competitiveness, we are currently negotiating our accession into the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Agreement – which is posited to be the largest free trade area in the world, with a combined GDP of $3.4 Trillion and access to a market of over 1.3 Billion people spread across 54 member states of the African Union.

“Recently, I was at the 13th AFCFTA Trade Minister’s meeting where we are actively negotiating Nigeria’s unique position on several crucial matters bordering on digital trade, safeguarding against illegal transshipment under the AFCFTA and tariff lines in specific sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“The successful implementation of the AFCFTA is expected to lead to diversification of exports, improved market access, enhanced trade opportunities and increased foreign direct investment.

Furthermore, under the Presidential Council, we are implementing several initiatives to reform the commodity trading landscape and also NCX’s operations and performance.”

While negotiating best deals for Nigeria, the minister emphasized the need for Nigerian-made goods to meet global standards, warning, “We have to ensure that our products meet the right standards to enable our exporters earn good foreign exchange income.

“If our products don’t meet the rights standards, we will be ome the warehouse of other nations.”

Shell not leaving Nigeria

Dr. Uzoka-Anite said that international oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company was not leaving Nigeria.

Her words, “I can tell you Shell is not going out. They are selling their onshore assets and they are investing in gas and investing in offshore assets.”

She reiterated the position of the Federal government that oil and gas companies must show evidence of export proceeds repatriation before further export permits would be approved for them.

Talents Exports Programme

Dr. Uzoka-Anite said that the administration launched the National Talent Exports Programme (NATEP) to create 1m through talent exchange/export, business process outsourcing and job outsourcing.

She said that her ministry was cooperating with the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to revamp and relaunch the Diaspora investment initiative to attract diaspora funds into investment platforms and vehicles in the country.

The Minister explained that there was no legal services agreement between Nigeria and the United Kingdom , as the recent Memorandum of Understanding between the two had no such provisions

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