The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele has urged French investors to invest in Nigeria, describing the country as the best investment destination in Africa.
Speaking at the Paris Peace Forum in France, Emefiele said Nigeria has the largest economy and population in Africa, and it is being projected to be the third-largest population in the world by 2050.
While convincing investors to put money into the Nigerian financial market, the CBN governor said, “If you think about investing in Africa. Africa holds the best frontier for development in the world today, and your yield from investments today is the highest in Africa”.
“People are saying Nigeria should take the lead. I am saying to you the foreign investors if you think about Africa for the opportunity and investment, you don’t have a choice you will have to look at Nigeria.
“Nigeria has the largest economy and population in Africa, and it is being projected to be the third largest population in the world by 2050 — if you do think about investing in Africa — join us in developing Nigeria and Africa continent.”
He said the CBN had projected that the economy would grow by about 2.9 percent in 2021 as oil prices surge in the global market.
“And the possible outlook is due to the high oil price which today is above $80 per barrel, the implementation of the economic sustainability plan which was put in place during the period of the pandemic and a rebound in our manufacturing activities and economic activities in Nigeria,” he said.
He also said that the country’s inflation which was “as high as 18.17% during the pandemic” and is “about 16.6% today” should be able to moderate to about “15.35% by December 2021 and further down to about 14.91% by February 2022.”
Speaking on FG’s diversification plan, Emefiele said that the present administration is providing access for players in the manufacturing industry to access loans with single interest.
“Before the president came on board in 2015, a couple of our textile industries, some of our manufacturing industries due to certain challenges they faced in the economy closed down,” he added.
“We are now looking forward to making sure that we reposition and reopen these industries again.
“We are making granting of credit easy for these industries so that they can embrace and attract cheap credit, long term credit and I can say in a long time in the history of the financial system in Nigeria, manufacturing sectors can access credit at single digit interest rate of no more than 9%.”
The CBN governor said the Dangote refinery would help conserve foreign exchange, save the cost of logistics and transportation — and the price of petroleum products in Nigeria can be more competitive and more affordable for Nigerians.