The Federal Government has given the marching order to its ambassadors to woo strategic investors to Nigeria in their respective foreign nation of service.
The government gave the charge on Wednesday at a meeting with Nigerian ambassadors at the Roundtable on Economic Diplomacy organized by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, and hosted by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Acting Executive Secretary, NIPC, Emeka Offor, who addressed the country’s foreign representatives noted that it is now imperative for Nigerian embassies in other nations to provide opportunities for the commission to engage with leading investors in the foreign countries.
“There are about 178 national investment promotion agencies across the globe and they are all trying to attract investments to their own countries. That tells you that the competition for capital is intense, especially now that we are recovering from COVID-19 pandemic.
“So there is the need for not just the investment promotion agency to work towards attracting investments into the country, but for our high commissions and embassies to strongly look at how do we convince investors in those countries to invest in Nigeria.
According to Offor, the onus is now on Nigerian ambassadors to provide platforms for NIPC to engage strategic investors adding that while relating with such investors, they should first be familiar with relevant leading investors that are interested in investing outside their home nations.
“One of the things we want the embassies to do is to give us an opportunity to engage with strategic investors. Every country has opportunities that they are very good at, they have sectors of competitive advantages.
“So when you talk about a particular country, you know those areas and you know the leading investors in those countries that are looking towards investing in other countries,” he advised.
Offor added that NIPC has already conducted a study to identify certain countries and their competitive advantages, noting that it was important to attract investors from such nations. He concluded that NIPC will support all the embassies with a view to projecting a positive image about the investment opportunities in Nigeria.
“We said our ambassadors in those countries can give us three to five names or sectors that they think are crucial for Nigeria’s economic development,” the NIPC boss stated.
“They can give us names of three to five companies that have shown interest in investing in Nigeria. We can now work with the embassies to do targeted investment promotion activities with them.
“The NIPC will support all the embassies to ensure that we project a positive image about the investment opportunities in Nigeria,” he said.
While reacting to the new role, the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine, Shina Alege, said Nigerian embassies were ready to work with the organised private sector through the various chambers of commerce across the country.