…As CBN cries out: Banks are sabotaging our efforts on new notes***
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Ms Yewande Sadiku on Thursday highlighted that Nigeria has recorded a total of $24.1 billion foreign investment in over two years.
Sadiku indicated at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday, expressing the commission’s commitment to promote and strategically position the country to attract foreign investments.
“The foreign capital inflow that came into the country in 2016 was 5.4 billion dollars, and the bulk of it is portfolio investment, while in 2017, it was 12.5 billion dollars.
“In the first quarter of 2018, the inflow was 6.3 billion dollars and this is more than all inflows that came in 2016 and in third quarter in 2017,’’ she said, adding that the commission has a One-Stop Investment Centre as a strategy to streamline investment procedures, provide prompt, efficient and transparent services and coordinate investment-facilitating agencies.
“The centre provides statistical data and information on the Nigerian economy, investment climate, legal and regulatory framework as well as sector and industry specific information.
“All these are to aid existing and prospective investors in making informed business decisions,’’ Sadiku said.
She however stressed the need for the states to be receptive so as to attract investors, since according to her, the commission was working with state governments to improve national competitiveness, adding that it would achieve its broad objectives without the involvement of the states.
“The states must be receptive to attract investors because investors go to where they can get attention and a friendly environment,’’ Sadiku said.
Sadiku said the commission had concluded plans to build a database which would showcase opportunities that abound in the states.
According to her, Nigeria has abundant opportunities for investment in priority sectors of agriculture, power, manufacturing, solid minerals, critical infrastructure and waste management.
Sadiku said the commission would build online investment to allow investors access investment opportunities from anywhere.
To this end, she noted that the commission would organise a summit which would hold from May 21 to May 23, in order to attract long term investment into agriculture, transport, power, gas, manufacturing, processing and information and communication technology.
“It will offer a platform for discussing investment needs and goals without the need for investors to travel to various locations in Nigeria to see projects,’’ Sadiki said
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Thursday cried out that, blaming commercial banks, for sabotaging its efforts in replacing mutilated notes with new ones in the country.
Mr Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Communications Department of the CBN, made the allegation in Lagos, while reacting to complaints from Nigerians, on the high level of mutilated notes in the country.
The CBN spokesperson said that the apex bank was aware of the development and had taken several measures to addressing the rising incidence of mutilated notes in the country.
According to him, one of the steps taken by the CBN in mopping up the mutilated notes from the system was reduction in the amount it charges banks for sorting the dirty notes for clean ones from N12,000 to N1,000 per box.
Okorafor said that the reduction in charges for the commercial banks which lasted for three months from January 2 to March 28 was to encourage them to bring back more dirty notes to CBN.
He said the sorting charges which used to be N12,000 was later raised to N2,000 per box after the March 28 deadline when the window was closed.
The director said the opportunity was limited to lower denomination naira notes comprising N50, N20 and N10 notes, hinting that the bank had also adopted another option of withdrawing the unfit notes from circulations rather than depending mainly on the commercial banks on the task.
Okorafor said that the bank had started engaging associations in various markets to encourage traders to change genuine dirty notes for new ones.
This, he added, would not attract any cost to traders.
“The bank has already taken the new measure to Kano, Kaduna and Abuja and also intends to bring it to the south,” he said.
On hoarding and selling of new currency notes, Okorafor said the serial numbers of the ones given out to the public would be used to trace whoever perpetuated the act.
He however, appealed to Nigerians to handle the national currency with care as it was a symbol of identity and value and should be handled with respect.
Okorafor enjoined the public to always demand for new notes instead of collecting dirty notes from banks.