In spite of some challenges in the ease of doing business, Nigeria offers one of the highest returns on investment, argues Fredrick Nwabufo
What is there to market about Nigeria? Everything. The people, the immense business possibilities, the cultures, the endowments of nature, the language, the food, the music, the art, the literature, the talents, the technology, the humanity, the good neighbourliness, and that transcendent seal of excellence, resilience, and courage. Everything.
Nigeria is a prophecy of the ancients, the prophecy of a glorious destiny. Those concerned have awaited Nigeria’s manifestation, but the country is beginning to manifest its promises under the Tinubu administration.
Marketing Nigeria is a bounden duty. It is a collective purpose and responsibility. It needs all of us. It takes all of us to project the best of our country. Nigeria is invaluable. It is the most marketable country on the continent. We are the product.
Marketing Nigeria does not demand any form of partisanship or native complexion; it only demands the assertion of the Nigeria-tude; our ethos, values, and the abiding fellowship. It also entails having the consciousness of a potter, knowing that we shape our country by our actions, and that however we project it, whether good or bad, the world embraces the construct.
Even though of disparate kins, we are held together by the umbilicus of a rich history, culture, purpose, and destiny. We are all comrades in the pursuit of a common destiny. We are a monolith of luxuriant species. We are a beautiful people.
Why is it important to market Nigeria? We are the Nigeria we market. We are the brand, the merchandise, the commodity, the crucial ingredient. We are thriving career persons, we are decorated sportsmen and women; we are innovators; record-breakers, inventors, global music stars, business moguls of international repute, renowned writers, ceiling-eclipsing academics, scientists, teachers, accomplished doctors, lawyers, and steadfast servicemen and women. We are the Nigeria we market. And there is a surfeit of goodness in Nigeria and in the Nigerian.
President Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s Chief Marketer, has been projecting the best of the country and the boundless opportunities across sectors around the world — with a swelling of gains for his quarry.
For instance, at the G20 Summit in India, in September, investors made financial pledges amounting to $14 billion during the Nigeria-India Presidential Roundtable and Conference in New Delhi. These investors include Indorama Petrochemical Limited, which pledged a new investment of $8 billion in the expansion of its fertiliser production and petrochemical facility in Eleme, Rivers State, and Jindal Steel and Power Limited, one of India’s largest private steel producers, which committed to investing $3 billion in Nigeria.
SkipperSeil Limited pledged it was investing $1.6 billion in the establishment of 20 100MW power generation plants across the states of northern Nigeria, amounting to 2,000MW of new power within the next four years. Bharti Enterprises, a major first-generation corporation in India with interests in telecom, space communications, digital solutions, insurance, processed foods, real estate, and hospitality, expressed its commitment to invest an additional $700 million in Nigeria.
In addition, approval on the finalisation of a new $1 billion agreement to bring the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to 40% self-sufficiency in local manufacturing and production of defence equipment in-country by 2027, through a comprehensive new partnership with the managing arm of the military-industrial complex of the Indian government was granted. A third Memorandum of Understanding on infrastructure development was also signed between the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Limited (InfraCorp) and Invest India, the National Investment Promotion, and the Facilitation Agency of India.
In Saudi Arabia, during the Saudi-Africa Summit, negotiations were advanced concerning a multi-billion dollar infrastructure finance facility from the Islamic Development Bank to fund a multi-sectoral portfolio of infrastructure projects at the federal and sub-national levels in Nigeria. There have been other investment commitments by Nigeria’s partners as well, and more investments are pouring in.
Nigeria is indeed a fecundated ground for investments. The country offers one of the highest returns on investment. Although there may be some concerns as regards the ease of doing business, these concerns are being addressed significantly.
Last Thursday, the Third Cohort of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) was inaugurated — with members charged to be 100 percent committed to promoting a conducive business environment and to work in tandem with the eight-point Renewed Hope agenda of the administration. This team will be working to further remove existing bottlenecks to business operations, efficiency, and sustainability.
What do you have in your hands? If it is Nigerian, market it. Is it the cuisine, the music, the art, the clothing, the innovation? Market it.
Nwabufo is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Engagem