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Uzoka-Anite Announces $30bn Foreign Investment Commitments In Past Eight Months

The trade minister also said Shell is set to to expand operation in Nigeria.

The federal government on Friday said it had in the past eight months received over $30 billion as commitment by foreign investors to be ploughed into the economy.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, made this disclosure on Friday in Abuja, at the second edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series coordinated by Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammad Idris.

She also repudiated claims that oil major Shell was planning to sell off its offshore asset as precursor to its departure from Nigeria.

Rather, the minister insisted that the company was expanding its operation in the country and increasing its onshore assets.

She said the country also intended to host other delegations and interested parties from other countries armed with investments.

She noted that the investments and several other pledges would not have been possible if President Bola Tinubu had not taken the bold step to extricate the country from the grip of double subsidies that were stinging the economy.

She said the investments and other reforms, including the N200 billion Presidential grant to start ups will boost the economy and begin to take effect before the end of the third quarter of 2024.

“Our bilateral engagements have been fruitful and have led to significant investment announcements and partnership opportunities for Nigerian trade.

“A notable example is the G20 summit in India, where a $14 billion worth of FDI inflow to Nigeria was announced and being actualised. Since then, we have seen the Confederation of Indian Industries visiting Nigeria to further explore identified investment opportunities.

“These engagements with India, Germany, Netherlands, UAE, South Africa, and others have opened up avenues for investment and the establishment of joint regulatory protocols.

“Since the President started travelling to engage with the international community on how to deepen investments, we have received a lot of investment pledges and commitment, including from the oil and gas sector.

“Last week, I hosted some of them who have already committed $10 billion. In addition, the Managing Director of a Free Trade Zone is here and has promised his commitment.

Also the Managing Director of Shell explained to me about their investment plan. I can tell you they are not leaving; they are scaling up their investment in Nigeria by increasing their investment in gas and pure assets,” Uzoka-Anite asserted.

She also revealed that Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), had invested $1.3billion over the last 10 years and was planning to invest another $1 billion over the next five years, while Seven Up Bottling Company had indicated plans to invest in logistics and recycling for their business.

She added that Unilever had also restated its desire “to be here for good” as well as launching new product categories this year.

 Uzoka-Anite disclosed that the federal government would also sign an MoU with Germany and the UK on artisan licensing skills, leading to the reskilling and upskilling of Nigerian youth to make them employable.

She said the ministry was set to launch the National Trade Intelligence Unit in collaboration with other MDAs.

She noted that the Trade Intelligence Unit would be the National Coordinator and focal point for all trade related data and information in Nigeria and would leverage world class technology such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Big-Data to provide Nigeria with the ability to predict global market trends that will enhance local and global trading capacities thereby significantly enhancing trade and the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

She clarified that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Nigeria and the United Kingdom had no clause for British lawyers to practice in Nigeria.

She said:” We recently signed the enhanced trade and investment partnership with the United Kingdom. There is a misconception of UK lawyers coming to Nigeria to practice. There was nothing like that in the agreement.

“That portion of the agreement under legal service is still being negotiated and the Ministry of Justice is leading the negotiation on it. The Ministry of Justice leads the trade negotiation and exchanging of ideas.

“There is an agreement between the two parties before any agreement is signed.”

Olawale Ajimotokan

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