Foreign investors still keen on Nigeria, says EY Partner

10 Feb 2016
Chibuike Oguh


Rohan Malik identified five sectors in Nigeria that have huge opportunities and are attracting global investor interest.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Despite being faced with oil price shocks and macroeconomic challenges, foreign investors are still keen on investing in Nigeria, according to Ernst & Young’s Emerging Markets Leader and Deputy Global Leader, Rohan Malik.

Speaking during a visit to Nigeria last week, Malik identified five sectors in Nigeria that have huge opportunities and are attracting global investor interest: financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, real estate, and agriculture.

"I think the international community is looking at Nigeria with great expectations from the new regime,” Malik said. “When I talk to international investors, they see Nigeria as a beacon of hope because of the vast demographic dividend you have got with the young population.”

The EY Partner’s comments follow the report last week by National Bureau of Statistics that Nigeria’s “capital importation” – representing foreign direct investment, portfolio investments, and other investments – fell 53.53 percent year-on-year in 2015 to $9.64 billion, compared with $20.75 billion recorded in 2014.

Malik said the federal government should take advantage of low oil prices to shape policies that would encourage entrepreneurship in Nigeria. He said the government should help entrepreneurs improve access to funding and markets.

“I think this is a huge challenge that governments think that their job is done when they produce policies,” Malik said. “That is the first step on the journey. How can you go from policy to outcomes is the challenge, and entrepreneurs suffer from that.”

According to Malik, Nigeria must now compete in a harsher investment climate where investors are searching for opportunities with the optimum level of risks and returns.

“The global investors are still looking at deals,” Malik said. “I was talking to some of the investors recently and they said, ‘We have got more money than bankable projects today.’”

“In other words, money is not the problem. So I think Nigeria has to compete for investments with the likes of India, China, the Middle East, South America, the so-called higher growth markets,” the Emerging Markets Leader for Global Government and Public Sector at EY further stated.

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