Nigeria launches electronic portal to woo investors
Nigeria has launched iGuide, an online investment portal, as it seeks to position itself as an investment hub to local and international investors.
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had jointly provided technical assistance to the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) throughout the development stage of the project in line with the UN principle of “Delivering as One.” The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) now manages the tool.
The electronic platform providing both domestic and foreign investors with up-to-date and relevant information on investment was officially unveiled by Edet Sunday Akpan, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment. “The iGuide highlights investment opportunities in the country and complements domestic reforms to encourage investment,” stated Mr Akpan.
Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of the NIPC, explained the ins and outs of the web portal noting that the content was grouped in seven thematic chapters dealing with business registration; access to land; taxation; labour laws and availability and costs of production factors, as well as potential sectors for investment. During her intervention Ms. Sadiku also drew attention to the subsection presenting different states of Nigeria stating that “investors can easily find information on the socio-economic profiles and competitive advantages of the individual states.”
In delivering the Statement and overall objective of the iGuides, Emmanuel Chinyama, Economic Affairs Officer of the ECA, observed that potential investors are now able to access all necessary information easily on one site.
“The iGuide is a living tool, and as such will be very useful in signalling to investors changes in government policies, legislation and administrative procedures,” explained Mr. Chinyama.
Welcoming the platform to the “growing iGuide family,” Julien Bornon, Regional Coordinator for the UNCTAD Business Facilitation Program, informed the participants that the Nigerian iGuide was the fourth in a series developed in cooperation with ECA and UNCTAD. The Republic of the Congo, Republic of Malawi and Republic Zambia have launched their iGuides earlier this year. The two sister organisations are currently working with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Republic of Madagascar and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on their online platforms.
The iGuide project was started by the UNCTAD in 2013, replacing the previously published paper-based investment guides that required updates every four years to keep track of new developments. Ministries or agencies charged with investment countries of twelve different countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean have the electronic platform for investors at their disposal.