‘Policy inconsistencies, parlous infrastructure threaten FDI’
Nigerian professionals in London have stressed the need for government to tackle the issue of policy inconsistencies with pragmatic plan aimed at ensuring rapid development in infrastructure.
This they said would attract the needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country
The stakeholders stated this, in an interview with The Guardian during the launch of Lagos Chapter of ‘Nigerians In The Square Mile’ (NISM), a London based initiative, aimed at strengthening trade ties between Nigerian Professional in London and the Nigeria counterparts.
NISM members said despite some noticeable achievements recorded in the country over the years from the various reforms, the nation is characterised by myriads of policies inconsistencies and reversals that tend to blur the confidence of both foreign and local investors.
They said a recent survey carried out by Nigeria professionals in London, showed that the major fears of foreign investors for Nigeria are policy inconsistencies, parlous infrastructure, insecurity among others.
Chairman, NISM, Paul Onifade, maintained that the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders needed to implement policies that could attract investors to the country.
“In our survey, some of the challenges are more than corruption and Boko Haram. A new government comes in, then throws out what the previous government has been doing and so, people cannot predict what the future is like.
“The second one is infrastructure. The Lagos-Ibadan expressway- the only gateway out of Lagos to other parts of Nigeria remain in bad state. When the foreigners come, they may not need to always fly their children abroad for any health issue.. They need good schools that are affordable.
“Finally, corruption. This is everywhere, but with a mix of incompetence, everything just goes down completely and it seems that in Nigeria, we practice the worst form of corruption,” he said.
The Founder and Managing Principal of Black and Gold Advisory, Ikenna Iroche, identified parlous state of infrastructure in Nigeria as the major ill militating against the nation’s rapid development.
Black and Gold Advisory, is a consulting firm that works primarily with companies active in Sub -Saharan Africa.
According to Iroche, “infrastructure in Nigeria is a major challenge, and for infrastructure to grow, it needs capital and investment. Infrastructure is one of the expensive areas to develop and the biggest challenge for Nigeria.
“For a number of unfortunate reasons we have had several years of inconsistency in government policies, a new president comes in , cancels the project of the predecessor and for the foreign investor, when you invest in infrastructure, you are looking at a minimum of seven years before you get a return.
“If you put in x million dollars down and you know that in three years time there is an election, and you might loose that money, or even if you win the court case, you will not be paid, you have to think twice and look for another country to invest the money.
“Nigeria is the most interesting country in Africa for infrastructure investment and at the same time, Nigeria is the one with the least certainty when it comes to that. The biggest challenge is that we do not have stability in government when it comes to that,” he added.