Slow and steady? Nigeria tops FDI charts

by Isi Esene

This might sound a little difficult to believe, but the 2012 World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) confirms Nigeria as Africa’s biggest destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2011 with $8.92bn.

This is good news considering the infrastructural deficit challenges that have constantly bedeviled the Nigerian economy and stunted its growth.

The report, which was released in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, noted that FDI inflows to sub-Saharan Africa soared from $29.5bn in 2010 to $36.9bn in 2011.

This amount of inflows into Africa is gradually catching up with its peak level of $37.3bn attained in 2008 before the global financial distress set-in and the growing bubble burst.

Nigeria led other African countries with an FDI of $8.92bn. South Africa attracted $5.81bn during the same period.

Other countries which made an impressive showing on the list included Ghana, which received $3.22bn; Congo, $2.93bn; and Algeria, $2.57bn worth of FDI.

Nigeria’s lead was however attributed to its status as an oil producing nation, same for Angola which didn’t make the top five due, according to UNCTAD, to the “divestment and repatriated profits by transnational corporations rendering net inflows negative”.

UNCTAD said overall, the continent’s FDI prospects for 2012 were promising “as strong economic growth, ongoing economic reforms and high commodity prices have improved investor perceptions of the continent.”

We needed some good news.

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