THE Chairman of Heir Holdings, Tony Elumelu, on Thursday said Nigeria is losing substantial private capital as a result of policy inconsistency and oil theft.
Elumelu, who is also Chairman of the UBA Group, speaking at the 2022 African Finance Corporation (AFC) conference in Abuja, said investment perception on Nigeria was not looking good due to several reasons.
According to Elumelu, “When we have policy inconsistencies, policy instability and insecurity, it affects our business perception and investment decisions. In business, perception counts.
“These issues also affect our attraction of global private capital across the world. Perception is everything.”
Citing an example with the recent delisting of Nigeria by JP Morgan on the list of emerging markets, Elumelu said such action from a notable American lender put Nigeria’s investment ratings low.
He said Nigeria and many other African businesses must understand that what happens in Abuja affects industry players in Nigeria and the larger global village.
According to him, “If countries are expressing concerns on investment about our continent, it affects our risk ratings. In the Niger Delta, we have oil theft. There is so much oil theft, which affects the investment made in Nigeria and inability to reap benefits. It also affects investors.”
He believed the African continent should be able to attract private capital with the right kind of policies, while ensuring it meets up with the risk acceptance criteria for investment.
He considered it important that Africa
continues to sustain discussions on de-risking the continent in order to attract private capital.
Elumelu said that Nigeria and the African continent generally needed to fix trade linkages properly in order to harvest benefits of the $3.4 billion market of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.