FG Woos Foreign Investors, Says Nigeria Most Attractive Destination in Africa

FG Woos Foreign Investors, Says Nigeria Most Attractive Destination in Africa

•Eyes $75bn annual e-Commerce spending by 2025

James Emejo in Abuja

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, yesterday in Cairo, Egypt, insisted that Nigeria remained one of the most attractive investment destinations in Africa, urging investors to take advantage of the enormous economic opportunities thereof.

The minister also said Nigeria’s current e-Commerce spending stood at about $13 billion per annum, adding that the figure was projected to rise to about $75 billion in annual revenue by 2025.

She said the market outlook for the country’s e-commerce showed that the number of online shoppers in the country which was at 76.7 million in 2021, was expected to hit 122.5 million by 2025.

Citing figures from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Katagum, who spoke at the maiden conference of the Nigeria-Egypt Trade Conference and Exhibition, theme: “For Africa – By Africa” in Cairo, said Nigeria’s e-payment transactions increased by 85.5 per cent year on year to N171.99 trillion in August 2021.

The minister said Nigeria remained the largest African country by population and size of the economy which the global consulting firm-PwC had projected to be among the top economies by 2025.

Katagum, told participants that the country was blessed with huge natural and mineral resources in commercial quantities, favourable climate conditions, and a high potential for industrial development.

She said the country remained open to deepening collaboration with Egypt and other friendly nations, adding that Nigeria is strategically located with easy access to other countries within the West African region.

She said with the advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Nigeria and indeed the continent was better positioned for broader economic integration, trade enhancement, the attraction of foreign investments, wealth and employment generation, poverty reduction, and improved shared prosperity for our people.

The minister said Nigeria was home to a multitude of investment and trade opportunities, adding that the federal government had acknowledged the needs of foreign investors, and had put in place a good number of investment-friendly incentives for them in various sectors of the economy.

According to her, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government made tremendous efforts towards sustaining MSMEs, which are the engines of economic growth in any economy.

The minister noted that the federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Industry and Trade and Investment and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) had launched the first Export Trade House (ETH) in Egypt on March 21, 2022, in Sadat City, adding that the choice of Egypt was deliberate, as it remains the gateway to North Africa, as well as to boost the trade relations between both countries.

She said through the ETH, the visibility of Made in Nigeria products and Nigeria’s market share in Egypt and North African Countries will be enhanced.

She said through the ETH, the visibility of Made in Nigeria products and Nigeria’s market share in Egypt and North African Countries would be enhanced.

She added that her ministry was actively involved in the implementation of the National Quality Policy (NQP) which was meant to guide Nigeria as a country to build sustainable quality infrastructure in order to make its products competitive in both the domestic and international markets.

In a statement issued by the ministry’s Assistant Director Information, Mrs. Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, Katagum said, “The Nigerian-Egyptian cultural, social and economic forum was launched here in Cairo. In addition, the ministry also participated actively at the Intra-Africa Trade Fair held in Durban, South Africa in November 2021. All these are meant to expose Made-in-Nigeria products in the international market.”

She also explained that the Commerce 44 initiative was an export strategy designed to develop and promote the export of 11 agricultural commodities, 11 manufactured products, and 11 solid mineral products with high export potentials, which would translate to an increase in job creation, income and wealth creation, revenue generation, poverty reduction, increase in the volume of export for processed products, improved market access through enhancement of quality and packaging of the identified products to 11 target countries/regions of the world.

The minister maintained that the government was passionate about facilitating the growth of investments in the e-commerce value-chain, which grew from 14 per cent in 2019 to 17 per cent in 2020, and capable of contributing significantly to the country’s GDP.

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