BY FELIX KASSIM
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has called on local investors to take advantage of the business opportunities presented by COVID-19.
The Executive Secretary/CEO, NIPC, Ms Yewande Sadiku made this assertion during the Commission’s maiden virtual media parley tagged, ‘NIPC Meets the Press’, on Thursday.
She noted the projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other related bodies revealed that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows would slow down in 2020/2021, resulting in major challenges for most economies.
Sadiku said on the positive side, the pandemic equally presents optimism for local investors and businesses that can leverage on the unique opportunities presented by COVID-19.
She said new windows of opportunity have been created for the medical and pharmaceutical, technology-enabled, and ICT sectors to exploit.
On Shoprite planned exit from Nigeria, the NIPC boss explained that the announcement from the South African retail firm does not imply closure of their outlets in Nigeria but that “the planned transaction may give Nigerian investors the opportunity of a controlling entity in Shoprite”.
She further stated that NIPC considers the Shoprite investment in Nigeria to be a strategic one that has played a vital role in connecting Nigerian produce and products to national and regional value chains. Sadiku posited that the retail market sector in Nigeria,
which accounts for 16percent of GDP is a material driver for the growth of the economy and still presents opportunities to domestic and foreign investors.
Also speaking at the virtual event, NIPC’s Director, Investment Promotion, Mr Adeshina Emmanuel, said the Commission has put in place an investor tracking mechanism to follow up with investment announcements with a view to translating them into actual investments.
“The Department, working with Stratcom, is developing an investor tracking sheet which it intends to use for the purpose of follow up to know how the Commission may help in actualizing investment plans,” he said.
Speaking further, Adeshina said NIPC has also designed a standard web-based template for profiling investment opportunities and manages the collected information with an intelligent, modern database.
On her part, the Head of Department of States Coordination, Hajja Wakil stated that the Department has recently updated its database for States and now has better access to the appropriate contacts in the states to better deliver direct engagements between investors and the opportunities in the states.