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NIPC launches digital one-stop centre to drive investment appetite in Nigerian economy

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THE Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has launched a digital one-stop investment centre in order to drive investors’ interest in the Nigerian economy.

The NIPC said the initiative was aimed to boost investors’ convenience in accessing information about investing in the economy.

The initiative, called the Electronic One-Stop Investment Centre (e-OSIC), is the digital version of OSIC, which brings together relevant government agencies to provide efficient, transparent and fast-tracked services to investors.

The e-OSIC is featured through the organisation’s Single Window Investors’ Platform (SWIP) and is expected to enhance its effectiveness and ensure timely service.

The centre is coordinated by the NIPC and the objective is to simplify business entry processes by removing administrative and regulatory bottlenecks pertaining to doing business in Nigeria.

Speaking on the new development, Acting Executive Secretary of NIPC Emeka Offor disclosed that the window, which had four components, was the e-business facilitation platform of NIPC fashioned in line with the e-government initiative of the Federal Government.

He noted that the SWIP project, which commenced in 2020, was aimed at enabling NIPC to leverage technology to better deliver on its mandate.

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According to him, with the advent of e-OSIC, investors could now have access to all services offered at OSIC remotely, and apply for business registration, submit relevant documents, and make appropriate fee payments.

“Through the platform, NIPC will be able to track and review the services of participating agencies at the centre,”  Offor added.

The Technical Team Lead of SWIP at the commission Toyin Oladipo also stated that the portal was aimed at digitalising NIPC mandate to ensure effective mandate delivery.

Investors, who would like to transition to the digital advent, are expected to visit the SWIP portal on the NIPC web platform.

The One-Stop Investment Centre houses 27 government agencies and provides investment facilitation services, reduces the time required to process regulatory approvals and permits.

It also  assists with information and requirements from incorporation to expansion.

Offor said the agency also sought to expand a total of $8.99billion worth of investment tracked in the third quarter with the initiative.

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Offor, who confirmed that the $8.99bn was yet to mature into a full investment, described it as ‘investment announcement,’ saying they consisted of 33 projects spread across eight states of the federation.

“The investment interest was 130 per cent higher than $3.94 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2020.

“Though not actual investments, the development tends to demonstrate a gradual boost in investors’ confidence in the Nigerian economy,” Offor said.

Associate Consultant to the British Department for International Development, (DFID) Celestine Okeke told THE ICIR that the new initiative was great but wanted consistency of such policy initiatives in driving investment into the economy.

“This is a good initiative, but I will advise the policymakers to embrace policy consistency in the development to ensure Nigerians reap the full investment benefits. This is one of the initiatives on the ease of doing business. I also want to government to look at some other grey areas hindering business in the country.”

Managing Director of Norrenberger Plc Tony Edeh told The ICIR that the Nigerian government must continue to engage in post-pandemic opportunities to enable it to grow its investment base.

“We must grow from our strength and diversify the economy with our oil resources and grow the local economy to attract investment. Policy initiatives such as this from the government must beAp0 encouraged to grow investors appetitive into the Nigerian economy,” Edeh said.

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