Inspite of efforts by government towards encouraging investors, Nigeria still ranks low in terms of competitive investment environment, as investors are leaving the country in droves due to insecurity.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom has expressed serious concern over the country’s dismal ranking among other countries in competitive investment environment by the World Bank.
The World Bank had ranked Nigeria 131 out of 185 countries it studied for the 2011 Doing Business Report, just as the 2012 to 2013 Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum also placed Nigeria 115 out of 144 countries surveyed.
Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government on Wednesday at the 8th National Conference on Investment, organised by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in Abuja, Dr. Ortom, said the government can no longer continue with such embarrassing stagnation.
Represented by his Special Assistant, Stephen Amanse, the Minister said such unsatisfactory performance should be discontinued if Nigeria must take her rightful position as a major player in the global economy and given the country's natural endowment.
Ortom said there was need to put in place measures to improve on Nigeria’s business environment to enable it meet desirable goals, adding that, "it is for this reason that government has put in place several measures to ensure an improvement in Nigeria’s investment environment."
Commending the commission for the topic, ‘Creating Jobs and Wealth through Increased Investment in Small and Growing Enterprise in Nigeria,' he said this showed that the commission was working in line with government’s transformation agenda which targets job creation in the country as well as wealth for national development and security.
Supporting her colleague, the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, said that the FCT was making frantic efforts to create enabling environment for both local and foreign investors.
The minister, who was represented by the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency, Miss Altine Jibril, told the participants that there are several policy initiatives created to provides incentives to investors and that these include fiscal measures in terms of tax relief and allowances payable by entrepreneurs, the provision of insurance cover for export-oriented industries as stipulated in the extent laws, literal allocation of industrial parks, demarcated and requisite infrastructure and land swamp initiative.
She also mentioned the recent development of trade and investment policy document as well as the establishment of micro finance banks in the six area councils to facilitate access to funds.