The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan has assured foreign investors that Nigeria is secure, business friendly and profitable for investment. He gave this assurance while receiving the Singapore High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr. Lim Sim Seng and his delegation in his office recently in Abuja.
Mr. Akpan stated that the security challenges in Nigeria is better when compared to what is happening in other parts of the world and urged businessmen from Singapore to invest in the Country. “Investors should look beyond the aspect of fear of security, the security in the country is not really bad compared to what is happening globally, ours is not something to worry about in any way, government has put a lot of measures in place to tackle security issues saying and a lot of incentives have been introduced to encourage investors. You are protected in many ways, you can bring in as much capital as you want and I assure you that it will yield a lot of dividend” he said.
The Permanent Secretary urged them to invest in the various sectors of the economy, particularly in areas such as tourism industry, Agriculture, Communication and Information technology, gas and mining sectors. He assured the delegation that the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA}, trade agreement signed between the two countries which have been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), will be considered when the next cabinet comes on board.
Some Directors of the ministry who were present spoke on the various incentives and opportunities available for investors in the country. The Director of Industrial Inspectorate Department said various incentives are available to investors in her department. These incentives according to her include pioneer incentives, tax allowances certificate to plough back the profit into the business and the certificate of value for businessmen who want to plough back their investment in form of equity. The Director Industrial Development Department stressed the need for Singapore to share its experience with Nigeria on the development of a single portal for all MSMEs.
In her contribution, the Director of Commodity, Produce Inspectorate informed the delegation of the availability of large quantities of Shea butter, ginger and cashew nuts, adding that Nigeria accounts for about 57% of the world’s Shea butter production and has the best ginger in the world. She therefore asked them to establish processing plants for these produce and export them to other countries. She further urged them to help the country to process its palm oil into vegetable oil as it is done in Singapore since Nigeria is very rich in red oil production.
The High Commissioner of Singapore to Nigeria, Mr. Lim Sim Seng promised that his country will put all that was discussed in the meeting into consideration to increase the trade volumes between the two nations.
Mr. Lim further said that the large population and abundant natural resources in Nigeria provides a lot of investment opportunities for investors from his country. He disclosed that the purpose of his visit was to exchange business ideas with relevant stakeholders in the different sectors of the Nigerians economy and see how the Buhari’s administration in its next level agenda could provide the framework for greater trade relations between his country and Nigeria.
Deputy Director, Press and Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, FMITI