• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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GE chief says infrastructure will fuel investment into Nigerian economy

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Lazarus Angbazo, president and chief executive officer, General Electric (GE) Nigeria, has described sustainable development of infrastructure as a key factor to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Nigerian economy.

He spoke recently during the ‘Investment Africa’ conference organised by CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa.

Angbazo in a presentation titled ‘Infrastructure as a Catalyst to Attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the African Economy’ said in 2011 Nigeria emerged Africa’s biggest destination for foreign direct investment with FDI inflow of $8.92 billion, according to the World Investment Report 2012 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He added that investment in infrastructure will ensure that Africa remains on a sustainable growth curve.

According to him, more FDI is likely to occur in countries with good physical infrastructure such as electricity, rail transportation and bridges. Good infrastructure increases the productivity of investments and therefore stimulates FDI flows.

Angbazo whilst looking at FDI in Africa stated that FDI inflow to Africa has exceeded official development assistance since 2005.

While this is a welcome development the rapid urbanisation has led to an increasingly urgent infrastructure gap.

He charged everyone especially the private sector to play a leading role in commitment to localisation and a genuine development partnership with governments in order to develop capacity and skills.

He urged government to modernise and harmonise the regulatory environment to become more competitive, more growth-friendly and investment friendly.

He added that investor confidence is sustained and strengthened by policy continuity and commitment to contracts and projects in place.

While underscoring the importance of investment security he emphasised the need for complete transparency, a strong judiciary and a good process for adjudication of disputes, law enforcement and improved civil society.

Angbazo recalled that GE has been operating in Nigeria for over 40 years with businesses spanning across a number of key sectors including aviation, energy, healthcare, power & water and rail transportation.

He attributed GE’s growth equation to partnerships with the government and local companies.

He urged other multinational companies who are on the African continent to start telling Africa’s story, one that shows the continent in its true light “a market of growth and immense opportunity”.