The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described Nigeria’s rating as Africa’s third most attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) by ABSA, a South African based financial service group, as a confirmation of the strength of the economic policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the Africa Financial Markets Index 2021 (AAFMI) has shown clearly that the government’s policies are well-thought-out.
“This is one piece of good news from the international stage at a time some economists have been hogging the headlines in local media with doomsday scenarios and predictions on the viability of FDIs in the country, without recourse to facts and figures.
“But the AAFMI posted on the website of one of Africa’s foremost financial service companies has shown clearly that the Buhari administration has not been sleeping on the wheel as far as opening up the economy to foreign investors is concerned.
“The research done in collaboration with the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) indicates that South Africa still retained the first position for the third year running, followed by Mauritius with Nigeria in third place and Ghana in fourth place.
“To show the credibility of the report ABSA group outlined the parameters used, as well as country-by-country performance on a scale of 0-100: and this is how Nigeria fared- ‘market depth, 62; access to foreign exchange, 20; market transparency, tax and regulatory environment, 86; capacity of local investors, 44; macroeconomic opportunities, 69 and enforceability of standard master agreement, 100.
“So we acknowledge that Nigeria still has a lot to do to be Africa’s topmost foreign investors destination especially in the areas of access to foreign exchange and capacity of local investors, but what is not in doubt from the report is that Nigeria now has an attractive regulatory and market environment.
“It is also interesting to note that Nigeria has consistently risen on the AAFMI since its inception in 2017 when she was ranked 6th.”
BMO added that the ABSA report also took a look at the debt stock of African countries and concluded that Nigeria has one of the best ratings.
“We find it interesting that at a time that many individuals and groups have had harsh words to say about the country’s debt situation, ABSA has a different perspective.
“The financial services group said in the report that Nigeria’s official borrowing is relatively low at 8.4 per cent of GDP, compared to other countries on the continent and it was emphatic that the country is not at risk of debt distress.
“Countries considered as high risk are Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia; while those on the moderate risk threshold are Côte D’ Ivoire, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda.
“But generally, the report noted that Nigeria has ‘continued to make strides in creating an enabling investment environment for foreign investors, with the necessary regulatory developments and policy initiatives.
“So contrary to naysayers, the Buhari administration has been steadily and surely removing the bottlenecks that had been negatively impacting the country’s FDI drive”.
The group reassured Nigerians that the government will not relent until the country becomes the ultimate destination for foreign investment in Africa.