United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Week #NigeriaUNGA17 #NGAinUNGA

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1. Nigeria is Open for Business and Investment

Monday September 18, 2017 was focused on Business and Investment. The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, in partnership with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), and the US Chambers of Commerce organized a Nigeria- US CEO Investor Roundtable that was attended by four Nigerian Ministers, and dozens of senior executives from multinational companies.

Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines and Steel Development

We are much more interested in mining serving as a trigger for our diversification strategy and providing the strategic vehicle for manufacturing and infrastructure development. So, the priority minerals we are focusing on are iron ore, lead zinc, gold, bitumen, limestone, barite- are those strategic minerals that enable industrial and construction work to be domesticated because a lot of what we get from that sector; even though we have the minerals, because we do not have the processing and beneficiating facilities, we still bring them in from outside.

We demonstrated with cement production that it is possible to replicate what we have done with limestone with the various other mineral assets that we have. So those who are interested in beneficiation, in value edition, in processing, setting up smelters, setting up processing companies are welcome to Nigeria.

Nigeria is actually the destination that you need for mining in Africa now. It’s not always been that but the legal and regulatory frame work is predictable. It’s certain. It is really been enforced a lot more religiously than it was done before. Our mineral licensing administration is also very definitive. The security protection is also something that is growing to become very, very predictable in the sense that we are coordinating mechanism for all our security agencies- the military, Police, Civil Defence Authority , State Security Services have all come together in a Mining Sector Surveillance Tax Force to help protect investment in the mining sector.

Government is also putting its own money where its mouth is. The President had put into this sector, $100m intervention fund for those who want to go into mining either as exploration companies, or as small scale miners, or as investors in the field. So really, for a whole range of reasons, mining is growing. Obviously, it’s not the type of quick-win sector that you want to put your money in and get returns on your investment almost immediately. No. But if you are in Nigeria for a long time, if you believe in the future generation, if you believe that Nigeria is that country that is going to act as a trigger for Africa, then mining is the sector that you need come into.

Uche Orji, MD/CEO, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)

This is an investment forum for those who want to invest in Nigeria. One of the contributions the NSIA is making to this conversation is that the NSIA, through its act can actually set up partnerships to invest in Nigeria.

As you very well know, in the last twelve months, we have successfully executed one of such partnerships in agriculture. The nature of that was that we put $25m in a fund, alongside an agriculture fund in South Africa who also put $25m. We are raising [an additional] $150m to invest in primary production from crop farming all the way to dairy farming. The first investment we have actually closed is maize and soy farming integrated feed mill in Nasarawa State for expansion.

Some of the people in this room are looking at opportunities in power, opportunities in real estate, opportunities in agriculture, health care. Our role is to say: “NSIA is your partner of choice. You want to invest in Nigeria in some of these areas that is important to us. You come and work with us.” So, that is the key contribution we are making in this [Forum].

The funds all together including its own fund and the funds it manages for other government agencies; the Sovereign Wealth Fund is slightly over $2bn, which is number one.

Number 2, we are focused more now on domestic investing. We spend the first couple of years investing most of the stabilization and future generation funds internationally to provide a hedge and savings base for future generation of Nigerians.

Right now, the main focus for us is domestic investing in agriculture which is our number one area, it’s in health care, it’s in toll roads, it’s in power, it’s in real estate and it’s in mid to downstream oil and gas. These are the areas we are focusing on at the moment.

Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC)

So this morning, NIPC working with three of its strategic partners in the United States- BCIU, Cooperate Council on Africa and US Chamber of Commerce arranged a US, Nigeria CEO round table which I thought was very well attended.
We had four Ministers from Nigeria attend, and engaged CEO- level investors in the US about what the Nigerian government is doing in different areas to give them comfort.

I thought the discussions went very well. The feedback we got afterwards was that it was professionally- organized and conducted. This certainly gave one a sense of real investor- interest in Nigeria and we are hoping that from this and many more other engagements that we can see improve investment coming from the US into Nigeria because the US is the biggest investor in the world by value and by number of jobs and we would like to see a diversification in US investment in Nigeria and an increase in US investment in Nigeria.

We just finished an event with portfolio investors who are slightly different from the group that we met this morning, who are more direct investors. Portfolio investors serve a different purpose on the spectrum of investor participation in a country. Portfolio investors usually are the first to come in. They usually participate in the stock market for they give the world comfort as in investment potential of a country.