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Investors commit $30b to Nigeria’s economy

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Many countries now have a keen interest in investing in Nigeria - Minister.

During a press briefing by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, disclosed that Nigeria’s economy has received substantial commitments amounting to about $30 billion from both domestic and foreign investors. The minister further emphasised that these investments have already commenced in various sectors of the country’s economy. She detailed how the country’s interactions with other nations have been advantageous, resulting in substantial investment declarations and collaboration possibilities for Nigerian commerce.

An example of this is the G20 summit in India, where about $14bn of foreign direct investment was proclaimed for Nigeria and is currently being put into action. Ever since then, Nigeria has been receiving visits from the Confederation of Indian Industries in order to delve deeper into the investment possibilities that have been identified. The involvement of countries like Germany, Netherlands, UAE, South Africa, and others has resulted in new opportunities for investments and the formation of shared regulatory protocols. The minister disclosed that a prominent steel manufacturer from India has expressed keen interest in investing a substantial $7 billion in the country’s steel industry.

Nigeria has received many investments to propel its economy.

Furthermore, the minister mentioned that several investors, especially from the oil and gas-free zone, have visited and pledged an impressive additional investment of $10 billion. According to Anite, the Nigerian Bottling Company has allocated $1.3 billion in investments for the past decade, with an additional $1 billion earmarked for the next five years. Notably, they have recently engaged in crucial talks on joint regulatory procedures with the United Kingdom, successfully signing the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (ETIP). By means of this agreement, Nigerian businesses gain a favourable trade environment that enables them to boost their exports to the UK.

Nigerian exporters are offered capacity building and sensitisation to take advantage of the UK Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). This scheme allows them to export up to 3000 agricultural products to the UK under favourable conditions. She emphasised that the partnership not only supports Nigerian exporters but also motivates UK investors to explore the most promising sectors in Nigeria, aiming to boost reciprocal Foreign Direct Investment. The minister announced that Nigeria is in talks to join the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Agreement. This agreement is anticipated to become the most extensive free trade zone globally, with a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. Additionally, it grants access to a market containing over 1.3 Billion individuals spread across 54 African Union member states.

AFCFTA’s effective execution would boost foreign direct investment.

Also, during the 13th AFCFTA Trade Minister’s meeting, she participated in negotiations regarding Nigeria’s distinctive role in various significant aspects encompassing digital trade, safeguarding against unauthorised transhipment under the AFCFTA, and specific tariff lines within Nigeria’s economy. She emphasised that the effective execution of the AFCFTA would bring about export diversification, improved market entry, enhanced trade prospects, and heightened foreign direct investment. She added that her ministry is establishing a job centre with a national scope, aiming to connect job opportunities within industries and businesses with the skilled workforce available effectively.

She explained further that the job centre has a comprehensive approach to preparing individuals for employment, including training and providing necessary resources. A notable program called the Skill-UP Artisans program (SUPA), led by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), focuses on empowering artisans by teaching them tech-based skills, granting licenses, providing essential toolkits, and encouraging industry-standard excellence. SUPA tackles the lack of skills in artisans and brings uniformity to their work, guaranteeing a competent labour force for local industries and lessening the reliance on imported workers.

Related Article: Nigeria trade ministry set foreign trade plan

The government’s dedication to boosting economic growth, enhancing the living standards of its citizens, and generating job opportunities is showcased through the two-year initiative aimed at empowering 10 million diligent Nigerians. In line with their focus on job creation, skill enhancement, and talent export, they introduced the NATEP program. This initiative endeavours to create 1m jobs, encompassing talent exchange/export, business process and job outsourcing. The minister further mentioned that they have been actively involved in forming collaborations and formalising agreements with renowned international institutions and governmental bodies.

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