Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigerian Trade and Investment Minister.
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has said that Nigeria would negotiate future international investment agreements using a set of parameters that would ensure a balance between investors’ interests and the developmental objectives of the country.
The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Agency, Ms Yewande Sadiku made this remark as lead speaker at a Symposium on “International Investment Law and Practice” which was held at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Lagos, Nigeria.
In her presentation titled ‘Contemporary trends in Investment Law and Policy – Lessons for Nigeria’, Ms Yewande Sadiku observed , “it is true that Nigeria has challenges, but when we are going into a negotiation that is not the toga that we wear, the toga that we wear is the toga of a country that is the 26th largest economy in the world and is estimated by 2050 to be the 14th largest; the toga of a country that is the 7th most populous country in the world and is estimated that by 2050 would become the 3rd most populous country.”
She further stated “in many parts of Europe and in the West the median age of the population is north of 45 years while the median age in Nigeria is 18.4 years. The difference between young people and old people is that they are mobile.” adding “that young people are mobile physically and they are also familiar with mobile devices. In Nigeria and many parts of Africa, we have populations that are much younger and it is important to recognise that this youth translates to energy, translates to market; I think, that is the first rule for me, in the context of negotiation.”
NIPC is Nigeria’s foremost investment promotion agency that was established by Act No. 16 of 1995 to encourage, promote and coordinate investments in Nigeria. NIPC also plays an advocacy role on behalf of investors to other arms of government and in the future hopes to play an ombudsman role too, to address investors’ dispute.
In 2015, NIPC championed the review of the twenty-nine international investment agreements that Nigeria signed out of which fifteen are in force. Till date, NIPC and its partners have reviewed twenty-one of those agreements.