Abuja — Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the Federal Government spent over N3.5 trillion of the national budgets on infrastructure in the last three years. He noted that investors’ interest in the country rose by the investment announcements that indicated a 37 per cent increase from 2017 to 2018.
Speaking yesterday during the first Nigeria-UK Economic Development Forum (EDF) at the Presidential Villa, Osinbajo affirmed the renewed zeal in the country by investors. The EDF was signed in August 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Theresa May in London as a platform to foster economic and development ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Osinbajo stated: “We have seen increased investor’s interest in Nigeria by the investment announcements that we track, with $90.9 billion of investment announcements in 2018, a 37 per cent increase over the $66.4 billion tracked in 2017. “We are interested in these announcements because we know that if we nurture them correctly, we can turn them into actual investments.
“There is also a steady rise in investor’s confidence, with an increase in the number of significant deal announcements. Eighteen days ago, Jumia, an online marketplace company that started in Nigeria, listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the first African start-up to do so. It received such a warm investor response, that it has since appreciated over 125 per cent.”
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the vice president added: “It will be interesting to see more transactions like this, and several between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.”Already, there are four Nigerian companies listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange, although only one Nigerian company, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc., is listed in both Nigeria and the UK. It is also fascinating that about half of the companies on the FTSE 100 have exposure to Nigeria.
“By leveraging the EDF, I hope that we will continue to build on the existing foundation and work together on recording increased trade and investment flows, particularly in the areas where we have comparative advantages.”On efforts to boost investor confidence in the economy and improve the business environment, Osinbajo said, “as a government, we are not unmindful of the challenges that have hindered the business and investment environment in our country.
“We have taken these challenges as opportunities and have made the extensive build-out of modern infrastructure (both hard and soft) as the main thrust of our administration.”In the last three years, government has allocated and disbursed over N3.5 trillion from the national budgets to infrastructure.”