Nigerian states must do more to attract real sector investments
Amid Nigeria’s current economic reality, cash-strapped sub-national governments must do more to attract manufacturing, agriculture and agro processing investments to their domains.
Nigerian states have relied heavily on handouts and monthly allocations from the Federal Government but have been hard hit by dwindling revenue occasioned by oil price crash in the last three years.
Data do not lie and consistently show that apart from Lagos and Ogun, other states may not be doing enough to attract investments from which they can generate revenue.
According to data from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) analysed by BusinessDay, manufacturers invested N691.77 billion in the country in 2014, out of which N514.87 billion went to Ogun State and N100 billion to Lagos, representing 89.42 percent of the total. This means that 34 other states shared the remaining 10.58 percent of the investments.
Out of the N180.12 billion invested in the manufacturing and agro-allied industries in Nigeria in the first six months of 2015, N128.3 billion went to Ogun, representing 71.23 percent. Ikeja and Apapa industrial zones got N15.74 billion and N6.98 billion, respectively, representing 12.6 percent. In essence, Lagos and Ogun had a share of 83.83 percent while the remaining 34 states shared 16.17 percent.
Similarly, manufacturing investments worth N309.33 billion were made in the second half of 2015, out of which N302.26 billion went to Ogun, representing 97.7 percent of the total. Apapa and Ikeja got about 2 percent, while 34 states shared the remaining 0.3 percent.
Lagos and Ogun had a share of over 80 percent of N368.17 billion investments made in 2016, while the rest of Edo/Delta, Imo/Abia, Oyo/Ondo/Osun/Ekiti, Kano/Sharada/Challawa, Kano Bompai, Anambra/Enugu, Bauchi/Benue/ Plateau, Rivers, Kwara, and Abia shared less than 20 percent.
Granted that Ogun is reaping the market gains of proximity to Lagos, but the state has paid particular attention to attracting investments by introducing land rebates for investors and creating the concept of ‘one-stop shop’, where investors can obtain all information and papers at a go. Obtaining certificate of occupancy for land is easier in Ogun than in many states.
Other states need to urgently resolve issues around harsh business environment characterised by multiplicity of taxes, insecurity, poor road network, high energy cost, among others.
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