Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria — Tunde Lemo — has given underlying reasons why foreign investors now prefer Ghana to Nigeria. Some of the factors he highlighted were infrastructure, insecurity, difficulty in doing business and many others.
Lemo — in an interview on Channels Television’s “Business Morning” programme — disclosed these reasons.
“Our infrastructure is in a deteriorating condition, it has heavy negative impacts. For example, our textile industry attracted merchants from China and India during our first ten years of Independence, now it’s nothing to write home about,” he expressed.
“At the height of its operations, Nigeria has more than 170 textile companies across the country. Today, only six or seven of these companies are still barely in existence — the rest have been shut down.”
“The reason is that the infrastructure in those countries is far better than what we now have here. We need to ensure the availability of resources beyond the Government’s inputs, and then harvest these resources and utilize them in reinvigorating our infrastructure. Although in the aspect of doing business efficiently, we have shown significant improvement, however, are we as competitive as other African countries? When we compare our nation to others like Ghana, Kenya and Egypt, it is obvious that we are greatly lagging. You may be surprised that Ghana is considered a better destination for foreign investors than Nigeria,” he said.
“Of course, as Nigerians, we take pride in saying that the ease of doing business in our country has significantly improved but when you are moving from the 90th position to the 70th, while our peers are occupying the top four positions, you realise that we still have a long way to go. We must ensure that we have a much more effective and efficient public sector system. We could look at the top three African countries and set a target for ourselves,” he noted.
“The level of competition in the global economy increases exponentially and every nation is working on improving its infrastructure to access global capital. Aside from that, our government must put extra effort into protecting the security of lives and property. Unfortunately, the past two years have been very rough and I wish to plead with political forces to adopt a bi-partisan approach; let all hands be on deck as we seek solutions,” the former CBN deputy said.
He also noted that the current violent attacks in the Middle Belt are responsible for the inflation of food prices and urged the government to create an optimal economic system.