THE National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that investment inflow into the country dropped by $576.61 million or 2.66 percent from $21.31 billion in 2013 to $20.75 billion in 2014. Specifically, capital worth a total of $4.49 billion was imported to Nigeria in the fourth quarter of 2014, bucking the upward trend that had been observed throughout the preceding quarters of 2014. A sharp decline of $2.04 billion or 31.22 per cent was recorded from the value of $6.54 billion in the preceding quarter, which represented the peak value for the year.
Despite this, the closing quarter of the year 2014 was still greater than the $3.90 billion of capital imported in the opening quarter, by $595.18 million or 15.24 per cent. “Total capital imported in the year 2014 which is $20.75 billion, is lower by $576.61 million or 2.66 per cent from the $21.31 billion that was imported in 2013.
The annual decline was primarily due to the reduction in the value of capital imported in the fourth quarter of 2014, which was expected, as investor confidence is low during the build up to a presidential election, which in Nigeria was scheduled to hold in February of 2015.”
The source of the greatest value of capital imported to Nigeria, according to the report, continues to be the United Kingdom, with $1.94 billion imported in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing 43.21 percent of the total. It said marginal declines were also observed in the United States, which is Nigeria’s second largest source of capital, declining by $54.62 million or 4.84 percent to $1.07 billion in quarter four.
The report categorised the investments into three broad segments portfolio investment, Foreign Direct Investment and others. For portfolio investment, the report stated that this made up the largest portion of the total capital imported. During the fourth quarter value of $2.0 billion, portfolio investment declined by $3.12 billion or 60.94 percent from its quarter three value of $7.12 billion.
It said the decline in portfolio investment was mainly driven by declines in the value of equity, which at $1.54 billion in quarter four of 2014, had declined by $2.22 billion or 59.10 percent from the preceding quarter. The NBS report said Foreign Direct Investments increased from a value of $544.50 million in quarter three of 2014, by $224.35 million or 41.20 percent to reach $768.86 million in quarter four.
Business Operators Urged Not to Panic over Elections
AS the nation prepares for the 2015 general elections, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has urged business operators not to panic over the effect of the elections on the country’s economy. Michael Olawale-Cole, chairman, trade promotion board, LCCI, gave the assurance at the unveiling ceremony of the 2015 Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication, ICTEL, EXPO, held at the LCCI conference and exhibition centre, Lagos.
“Don’t be disturbed by the upcoming elections, it will come and go. And the country will remain one. We have experienced worse things than this and the country remained united. We need to have faith in this country,” he said. He urged business operators to continue their daily activities, saying that they would not experience any electoral violence before, during and after the elections.
Olawale-Cole also urged business operators to dwell more on how best they could use internet to promote their activities. “In the coming decade, businesses will only be completely done online and not the conventional style. Thus, it is important for business operators to embrace it now.”
On the need to embrace ICT, Remi Bello, president, LCCI, said there had not been effective link between the users and producers of ICT in the country, saying “This is the primary objective of this EXPO; to provide platform for producers and users of ICT in the country.”
The aftermath of the mobile phone penetration was the boom in internet service demand in the country. The fact that it was now easy to access the World Wide Web through the mobile handsets resulted into an unprecedented boom. And today 73 million subscribers use their telephone to connect the internet, a number greater than the entire population of some countries.”
— Mar. 30, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT