Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party was at Chatham House on invitation by the prestigious and reputable think tank to speak on his vision for policy and governance reforms in Nigeria. His energetic appearance and powerful speech deliverance displayed his brilliance and understanding of Nigeria’s daunting problems and its panacea to the lingering existential and leadership troubles.
His affirmative credibility based on his past antecedent as a former governor and business executive made his policy reforms for Nigeria credible. At Chatham House Peter Obi made his quest for presidency brighter; Simultaneously, giving a positive image of Nigeria and momentarily altering the negative image of the country’s leadership.
The host at the dialogue was surprised at the number of questions coming from social media. At a point there were more than sixty thousand questionnaires on social media as the program was going on.
It was revealed that many foreign investors were also excited from what they heard from Obi. His commentary and solutions on resources mismanagement, insecurity and corruption became a confidence building mechanism for foreign investors for the emerging new Nigeria. Most of the conventional business magazines of the West and their television networks were talking about Obi and his fascinating dialogue to the business community.
Foreign investments flow into Nigeria has been de-accelerating which can be attributed to the unfavorable status quo; even some companies have left Nigeria because of the inability to remit their profits due to paucity of foreign exchange. The challenges of operating business are quite enormous from lack of electric power to insecurity. “Since the first quarters of 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, there has been a steady decline in capital inflows into the nation’s economy.”
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), “foreign investments into Nigeria have declined by 81.46 per cent ($6.91bn), from $8.49bn in the first quarter of 2019 to $1.57bn in the corresponding quarter of 2022.”
The report indicates that the total capital inflow into the economy fell by 31.01 per cent from $8.49bn in Q1 2019 to $5.85bn in Q1 2020; it fell by 67.45 per cent to $1.91bn in Q1 2021; and declined further by 17.46 per cent to $1.57bn in Q1 2022.
The report, which segmented foreign investment into three main investment categories: foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and other investments, further explained that in Q1, 2019, the largest amount of capital imported into Nigeria was through portfolio investment.”
“Nigeria’s underdeveloped power sector is a bottleneck to broad-based economic development and forces most businesses to generate a significant portion of their own electricity. Reform of Nigeria’s power sector is ongoing, but investor confidence continues to be weakened by regulatory uncertainty and limited domestic natural gas supply. Security remains a concern to investors in Nigeria due to violent crime, kidnappings for ransom, and terrorism in certain parts of the country. “
“The ongoing Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISIS-WA) insurgencies have included attacks against civilian and military targets in the northeast of the country. Nigeria has experienced a rise in kidnappings for ransom and attacks on villages by armed gangs in the North West and North Central regions. Criminal attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta region that restricted oil production in 2016 have eased, but a significant rise in illegal bunkering and oil theft has left the sector in a similar state of decreased output. “
Obi’s successful performance at Chatham House did not only propel him to greater heights, he made Nigerians proud and also, aided to improving the battered image of the country.
Emeka Chiakwelu is a Strategist @AFRIPOL