Ndubuisi Francis and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has launched an investment project analysis software and Centre of Excellence for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), COMFARLITE, in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).
The NIPC Executive Secretary, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja, stated that COMFARLITE, the online version of COMFAR, is a core element of training and coaching activities.
He described COMFARLITE as “an introduction to the best international financial practices accounting standards,” adding that it is expected to change business and entrepreneurial culture.
“COMFARLITE is a state-of-the-art investment project analysis tool that, through its interactive and intuitive modules, allows even less-experienced entrepreneurs to present their business ideas. The COMFARLITE interface will guide users through various analysis steps.
“It is the first software of its kind to be used to scale-up enterprises; this should lead to job creation in local communities. COMFARLITE will allow fast appraisal of investment project proposals before moving fully fledged feasibility analysis,” Sadiku said.
She stated that the launch of COMFARLITE as a centre of excellence for the financial appraisal of MSMEs with COMFARLITE adds to NIPC’s portfolio of services for investors and would enable NIPC to assist Nigerian entrepreneurs in presenting bankable projects for better financing.
According to her, in the coming months, certified NIPC staff, together with UNIDO experts and the state IPAs staff will implement the pilot phase of the project through zonal offices and work together to identify and appraise portfolios of projects that can be presented to banks and investors.
“NIPC is committed to working closely with the states to promote investments in Nigeria. One of the tools for doing this is to identify projects in the states since all investment projects sit in one state or the other, profile and present them to both foreign and local investor,” she said.
In his remarks, a lecturer and Senior Adviser at UNIDO Headquarters Vienna, Mr. Stanislaw Pigon, noted that they will provide advice nationwide to the zonal offices.
“So the Centre of Excellence is located at NIPC but actually it’s located all over Nigeria now to the zonal offices. In every country there are different incentive services for investors but what makes NIPC powerful today is the outreach on the top of it.
” When we speak about certification of investment, promotion, government institutions in this state, analysis of effectiveness of investment promotion policies in Nigeria, we are totally in different works and this is why there are today’s standards for investment promotionâ€, he said.