The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, says the ministry is facilitating the delivery of tax and regulatory incentives for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with priority on the agriculture, construction and automotive industries.
Adebayo, while speaking at a private equity summit in Lagos, said the Federal Government was, through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC modernising bilateral investment agreements with a greater sense of purpose.
He stated that most recent agreements targeted countries that aligned with the Federal Government’s ambition of building local production capacity.
He said, “The Federal Government seeks to localise at least 40 per cent of its expenditure on stipulated goods and services to facilitate local markets access for Nigeria-made products.
“The government also seeks a comprehensive approach in mobilising capital, incentivising priority sectors and expanding market access for local producers.”
Adebayo said the government would further enhance the ease of doing business and support the growth of the MSMEs.
This, he said, would present a compelling case for global investors when viewed against the backdrop of the country’s capacity for growth
The acting Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Mary Uduk, described private equity firms as important agents of business and economic growth as they brought capital to business.
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She said there was a nexus between adequate capital and business growth as such capital helped businesses to grow, generated profits for investors, created socio-economic benefits to the consumers and enhanced overall growth of the economy.
According to her, Nigeria has a lot of start-ups with robust business plans, many profitable unlisted companies with established cash-generating capacity, as well as public companies with solid customer bases, proven products, and high-quality management.
She stated that these businesses and opportunities were yearning for investments, which private equity firms could tap into.
Uduk said, “I see an improved investment climate, friendly market rules and regulations, as well as increased investor education as essential elements for attracting private equity investments in Nigeria.
“Towards this, the commission is working on rules and regulations to ease participation of more private equity funds.”
The Founder of Counsel, Udo Udoma and Ben Osagie, Senator Udo Udoma, stressed the need for private sector’s participation in the development of the country’s economy.
Udoma said that government must engage private sector to ensure economic expansion, noting that government could not do it alone.
He said there was a need for the government to create an enabling environment to encourage the growth of private equity in Nigeria.