HOW STATES CAN ATTRACT FOREIGN INVESTMENTS ||Caleb Onyeabor

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We saw how an alumni of the University of Ibadan (UI), Philip Ozuah donated $1 million to the institution. Philip Ozuah is not based in Nigeria. He can be described as part of those we call Nigerians in Diaspora.

Due to the fact that they are functioning in well established economies and system, Nigerians in Diaspora have money. In 2021, remittances from Nigerian in Diaspora amounts to $14.2 billion. This is almost half the amount of Nigeria’s total annual budget for the year 2021. Nigerians in Diaspora have money.

Now, at this critical stage of our national economy, we need a drastic increase in foreign direct investment. In 2021, South Africa received 41 billion dollars foreign direct investment while Egypt received 5.1 billion dollars and Nigeria came third at 4.8 billion dollars.

Now look at the disparity. Nigerians in Diaspora remitted $14 billion and then Foreign Direct Investment in the country in the same year stood at $4 billion.

If you ask me, while we are looking at how to convince Americans, Asians and Europeans to invest in our economy, why can’t we put up a system that will focus on attracting Nigerians in Diaspora to invest in Nigeria ? Afterall they know Nigeria better than these other guys. Secondly, they have the money to invest and thirdly, they just need the right environment and systems put in place.

Nigerians are almost everywhere in the world doing do good and having so much money that if our Government head is correct, can attract those funds here to create jobs and rejig our dying economy.

If this is done properly, Nigerians in Diaspora can actually give us a foreign direct investment of up to $50 billion yearly.

There are many challenges that is making these Nigerians in Diaspora not to invest here. Government must have a special focus on this.

I suggest that every state in Nigeria should create a Ministry for Nigerian diaspora investment. This will not be run as the usual bureaucratic nigerian ministry where appointment is based on political purposes. No ! Whoever will be made to head that ministry must be someone who merits it and is knowledgeable about navigating the waters of international finance and investment. The ministry will be given an annual target of let’s say: generating $1 billion annual foreign direct investment from Nigerians in Diaspora into the state. To do this, the ministry will be involved in searching, meeting and convincing Nigerians out there with money to invest in their states. The ministry will be responsible for making it easy for these guys to invest by using executive powers to remove the usual bottle-necks and political challenges investors face. The ministry can help these investors fast track their Registration, licenses, procurement and all that. At the end of the year, if the commissioner failed to hit the $1 billion target, he or she should be relieved of her duty.

Philip Ozuah who donated $1 million to University of Ibadan will happily invest $10 million in a health care in Anambra, Abia or Lagos if the right environment is provided for him. Now the beauty of this is that there are many Philips out there.

Our Government need to start thinking and acting properly.

These things can be done and done even better than I suggested.

Until next time. Bye bye.

Follow my page here Caleb Onyeabor

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