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NIPC’s Journey Under Yewande Sadiku’s Leadership

Diaspora Nigerians face same challenges discouraging other investors – NIPC boss

Yewande Sadiku, popularly known as YTS is an Investment Banker and Nigerian Public Servant. She was appointed in September 2016 by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR as the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the country’s foremost investment promotion agency. Before joining the public sector, Yewande was Executive Director, overseeing Corporate and Investment Banking at Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC, a subsidiary of Standard Bank of South Africa, Africa’s biggest bank.

Below is a detailed year-by-year breakdown of the milestones recorded at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) under her leadership.

2016:
Developed Invest in Nigeria intelligence e-newsletter
The Invest in Nigeria intelligence e-newsletter was developed in October 2016 to track investment-related news about Nigeria, cull local and international news articles disseminated 6 days a week to its over 10,000 subscribers from across the world. The newsletter showcases Nigeria as an investment destination, shares NIPC-related information and business reforms that will deepen investor opportunities for the country.

2017:
Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) Scheme Reforms
The Pioneer Status Incentives (PSI) is a tax holiday exempting qualified industries and product reliefs from paying Corporate Income Tax for 3 years, renewable for another one year or one year plus one year (2 years). Before the successful reform in August 2017, companies were conferred with an exclusion were granted straight 5 years of tax exemption, with no public record information detailing applicants and exempted companies available to the public.
In breathing new life to PSI Schemes, 27 modern pioneer industries and pioneer products were included in the Pioneer Industries and Product List. 2 sectors were effaced due to lack of competitiveness, and the new application guideline revised for faster review of applications. The PSI was also modernized and reclassified based on the International Standard Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) – the United Nations industry classification system.
Today, PSIs are processed strictly based on published guidelines, while the Pioneer List is approved by the Federal Executive Council is available on both NIPC and Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment websites detailing the total number of companies exempted till date.

Read also: Hybrid Media Services platform plans $80m investment in Nigeria

Compendium of Investment Incentives in Nigeria
The Investment Incentives Compendium, a collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is a 20-page compilation report that details fiscal incentives, tax laws, tariff, and sector-specific incentives. The Compendium aims to provide existing and potential investors with available incentives for doing business in Nigeria. The report is based off the Fiscal Policy (2016) approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria, but centres on five cardinal sectors – Agriculture/Agro-allied, Solid minerals, Manufacturing, Tourism/Hospitality and Oil & Gas. The Compendium of Investor Incentives allows us to meet the legal requirement, according to the provision of Section 4(I) of the NIPC Act.

2018:
Published the maiden report of Investment Announcements
The periodic newsletters on investment information were compiled to form the first report on investment announcements in 2018. The report shows investment announcements; local and foreign direct investments categorised by investor, sector, source and destination of all investment announcements within the period in view.

Developed the Country focused investment promotion strategy
An investment promotion agency (IPA) must be proactive. It must be investment-oriented; representing Government’s interests, plans and policies to investors. It must work with investors to address bottlenecks that impede investing. Against this backdrop, the team articulated a new strategy for identifying countries that are strategic to Nigeria’s long-term plans. The priority countries were streamlined based on five (5) criteria, including countries with existing Bilateral Investment Treaty with Nigeria, global and sectoral investment flows and Nigeria’s strategic relationships.

Maiden Edition of Direct Investors’ Summit Nigeria (DISN)
The NIPC’s inaugural Direct Investors’ Summit was a multi-stakeholder summit organised in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in May 2018. The DISN summit brought together policymakers, heads of agencies, the private sector, domestic and foreign investors aimed at attracting long-term investment across sectors and industries.
The platform which featured two days of panel discussions, breakout sessions and business-to-business engagements was used to discuss investment needs and goals, policy enhancement and pitching to investors. The event attended by over 2,000 participants, 500 delegates, 43 speakers, 190 direct investors and 14 participating countries was sponsored by the Bank of Industry (BOI), Dangote Group, North-South Power Company Limited as platinum sponsors, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, United Capital Plc, Tolaram Group, Nigeria LNG Limited and Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc as Bronze sponsors.

Online Investors’ Guide (iGuide)
To provide investors with real-time investment information on investors rights, trade policies, taxes and tax exemptions, procedures and cost of doing business, NIPC with the support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) developed an online investment guide (iGuide) for local and foreign investors. The guide can be accessed through www.theigudes.org/nigeria, www.nipc.gov.ng/iguide and helps investors make better-informed decisions on Nigeria as the preferred investment destination.

2019:
RIBS Model
The team with the support of Yewande Sadiku coined an acronym for the reform of Nigeria’s Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs); some signed since Nigeria’s Independence between Nigeria and other countries. The review of all BITs, in unison with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal Ministry for Industry, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the NIPC begun with the team interrogating all signed International Investment Agreements based on a developed four-way principle – investments which are Responsible, Inclusive, Balanced and Sustainable (RIBS). To attract RIBS investments, the review committee set cardinal reform objectives; expanding the facilitation dimension of Nigeria’s treaties, promoting dispute de-escalation and investment retention, limit Nigeria’s exposure to Investor’s State Dispute Settlement (ISDC) that gives investors a false dispute settlement outside of the shores of Nigeria.
Before the overview of all signed agreements, some of the agreements exposed Nigeria to the needless risk of international arbitration. The RIBS Principle balanced investors’ right with Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Aspirations.