The united states High Commission Consul-General, F. John Bray has raised an alarm over threat to American businesses in Nigeria worth $1.3 billion.
The Consul-General who was speaking at a discussion board organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI), outlined lack of stability in the exchange rate, policy inconsistency, poor electric power, scarcity of commercial infrastructure, corporate and surveillance challenges as significant challenges American investors in Nigeria are struggling with.
Bray lamented that American investors have issues with how policies are made and changed, observing that it has the ability to threaten investors within the country.
He cited regulatory issues, like the one involving MTN, which had led to the instruction for the telcom to send back cash allegedly ferried out of the country without recourse to laid down procedures. He further more noted that this kind of incident can discourage any investor as there appears not to be a simple obedience to rule of law to safeguard investors.
Also speaking at the forum, Ms. Laure Beaufil, Deputy High Commissioner, British High Commission, revealed that out of the £400 million United Kingdom investment in Africa, Nigeria has a large chunk of it but regretted that UK investors are sometimes perplexed regarding the risks inherent in committing to the country and how to mitigate them.
There is a growing concern that foreign investors’ investment into the country has taken a drop. A week ago the CBN in a report revealed that the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria fell to N379.84 billion ($1.2 billion) in the first half of the year from N532.63 billion ($1.7 billion) a year earlier. It also announced that two global banks HSBC and UBS have shut offices in Nigeria.