Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has disclosed that the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) is working with states of the federation to ensure that they establish their own one-stop Investment Centres.
Aganga revealed this at the closing ceremony of the 8th National Conference on Investment (NCI).
The NCI was initiated in 2004 to among other things, provide an avenue for sensitising the investing public on the investment opportunities and incentives available in the various states and also to serve as a platform for stakeholders to interact and evolve strategies that will make Nigeria the preferred investment destination among the emerging markets.
“There is ongoing collaboration between the NIPC and some states of the federation to establish One-stop Investment Centres and investment promotion outfits in the different states. This is to ensure that OSIC facilities are available at the grass roots,” the minister said.
Aganga noted that the NCI, since inception, had made remarkable progress, by ensuring that harmony existed between the Federal and State governments in the area of investment incentives.
He added that the Federal and State Governments were working together to develop a sector-specific investment policy document as part of efforts to provide a level playing field for genuine investors.
Aganga said, “I am pleased to be associated with this noble initiative for very clear reasons. Prior to 2004 when the NCI was initiated, there was little synergy and collaboration in the investment promotion strategy of the Federal Government and the 36 states. This was not in the interest of the entire Nigerian economy as all levels of government were working at cross purposes with conflicting signals being sent to investors about Nigeria’s readiness to attract investment.
“For instance, while the Federal Government on the one hand was ready to waive the corporate tax for industries with pioneer status, some states still introduced myriads of taxes, thereby nullifying the benefits of pioneer status incentives to investors. It was therefore the need for collaboration between the NIPC (the Federal Agency for promoting investment) and its counterparts in the states (where such exists) to fashion out policies with the same objectives and goals that gave birth to the NCI."
He added, “There are ongoing efforts at developing a sector-specific investment policy document, which is aimed at creating a level playing field for all investors and eliminating discretionary grant of concessions. With these modest but key achievements, I won’t be wrong to say that the NCI is already an ongoing success story. And I would describe the choice of theme for this 8th edition, ‘Creating Jobs and Wealth through increased investment in Small and Growing Enterprises in Nigeria,’ as apt, particularly with regard to the focus of the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.”
Speaking during the event, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the federal government was committed to providing the enabling environment for the growth and development of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
He said, “The role of SMEs as drivers of economic growth and development through job creation, poverty reduction and wealth generation is well-acknowledged in both developed and developing countries across the world. Therefore, the future of the Nigerian economy is tied to the development of the SME sector.
“The federal government will continue to provide the conducive environment for the growth and development of this important sector. Also, the government is committed to ensuring that critical infrastructure is optimised to support the SMES,” he added.