Economists and investment analysts have expressed optimism in the Nigerian economy, saying that despite challenges there is light in the tunnel for the country’s economy given the high level foreign countries’ willingness to invest in the country.
The experts spoke yesterday at the opening ceremony of USA Trade Fair 2019, a multi-sectoral event which presents new-to-market and existing United States (US) companies with an opportunity to explore opportunities and potentials within the Nigerian market.
They said that in spite of numerous challenges, Nigeria still remains the destination for foreign direct investment(FDI).
In his speech, the Managing Director of Financial Derivative Company, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, who was one of the speakers, said that Nigerian economy will not experience recession this year.
He said that although, Nigerian economy is being driven by the oil and gas sector and frequently affected by the vagaries of the international trade, the economy is not likely to go into recession.
He noted that Nigeria was experiencing depleting external buffers-rising external debt of $19.75 billion.
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Yetunde Sadiku, who also spoke at the event, said that Nigeria is receiving inflow of foreign investment despite the challenges in the country.
She attributed the development to the trust which the foreigners have on the Nigerian economy, acknowledged as the largest in Africa.
She said the mandate of NIPC is to remove bottlenecks in doing business and to achieve a demonstrable improvement in Nigeria’s doing business rankings, adding that serious effort is being made in that regard.
She hoped Nigeria would see a 20-point improvement in the World Bank’s doing business ranking and ultimately reach the top 100.
President and Chief Executive of GE Business Operations Nigeria and President, American Business Council (ABC) Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, who also spoke on the occasion, insisted that Nigeria remains foreign investment destination.
He said that GE has become the preferred trusted partner, investor, and employer of choice among multinational companies in Nigeria.
On his part, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, who addressed the audience, said USA Fair was a prime opportunity to celebrate these mutual ideals and to drive both “our economies forward through increasing trade and investment that has already put more people at work”.
“The US is the world’s largest economy, with a GDP of approximately $19.39 trillion just as Nigeria has been recognised as the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of about $594.26 billion.
“The US is the dominant economy on the planet; Nigeria also plays a central role in the economic matters of the African region and the world at large.The total stock of US Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria was 8.1 billion in 2012 – which is the latest available data – up by 53.6 per cent from the 2011 figure,” he explained.