Nigeria’s FDI Fell by $19 Billion Over 10 Years, Says Finance Minister

Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, revealed a concerning trend in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into Nigeria over the past decade. According to Edun, FDI declined by $19 billion, dropping from $22.7 billion in 2014 to $3.7 billion in 2023.

Edun delivered this revelation during a presentation to top business leaders at a recent gathering hosted by the Lagos Business School Breakfast Club. This monthly forum offers C-suite executives valuable insights into the business landscape without consuming excessive time.

During the presentation, Edun underscored the government’s efforts to address economic challenges and boost foreign exchange (forex) supply, particularly through increased FDI and Foreign Portfolio Investments.

The minister outlined the fluctuating trajectory of FDI in Nigeria over the past decade, citing figures that illustrate a downward trend. Despite occasional marginal increases, FDI consistently decreased over the years, reaching its lowest point in 2023.

In response to the currency crisis and dwindling investor confidence, Edun announced the government’s intention to issue domestic bonds denominated in foreign currency in the second quarter of the year. This move aims to attract additional forex inflows to stabilize the national currency.

Edun emphasized the importance of targeting funds held in foreign currency accounts and diaspora remittances to bolster the country’s forex reserves.

While Nigeria has attracted significant investment commitments, as stated by the Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment, Doris Uuzoka-Anite, last February, concerns persist regarding actual cash inflows and the timeline for investment realization.

However, despite efforts to attract foreign investment, Edun acknowledged challenges such as rising inflation in Western countries and investor reluctance to inject funds into Nigeria. He emphasized the need for domestic resource mobilization and highlighted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic policies aimed at enhancing productivity, economic growth, job creation, and poverty reduction.

Edun concluded by stressing the importance of fostering an attractive economic environment and robust corporate governance to entice both domestic and foreign investors, ultimately steering Nigeria towards sustainable development and prosperity.

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