As Africa’s most populous country, rich with natural resources including gas and oil, Nigeria is poised to attract foreign investment, specifically in the fields of energy extraction, poultry production, textile manufacturing and tourism development, said Victor Bosah, Nigerian consul general in Atlanta since June.
“There are so many sectors for private investors to take advantage of in Nigeria,” Mr. Bosah told GlobalAtlanta in an interview last week at his office. He noted that the Nigerian government was making concerted efforts to attract foreign companies by offering investment incentives and increasingly privatizing different sectors of the country’s economy.
Trade delegations, such as one from the southwestern state of Ogun, which is being hosted by World Trade Center Atlanta, Monday, Aug. 15, is another example of the government’s dedication to expanding Nigeria’s economy, he said.
“The present [Nigerian] government believes that the fundamental basis of sustainable economic relations is [through] trade, not aid,” Mr. Bosah said, noting that many African countries were becoming increasingly disinterested with aid programs and were eager to develop their own competitive economies.
Mr. Bosah said that he thought Nigeria’s agricultural, textile and tourism industries could be very competitive markets once foreign investments helped develop infrastructure in some of the emerging industries. Tourism development and hotel construction are especially important, he said, as natural hot springs can be found throughout the country, and many potential tourist sites have been left largely undeveloped.
He also noted that Nigeria was looking for investors to develop his country’s energy industry, as natural gas reserves are estimated to be 166 trillion standard cubic feet. If developed correctly, such an energy reserve could generate between $5-to-6 billion annually for the Nigerian economy, Mr. Bosah said.
Infrastructure development in Nigeria is necessary for his country to fully utilize the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which liberalized trade relations between the U.S. and 37 sub-Saharan countries in 2000, Mr. Bosah said.
“We want to take maximum advantage of AGOA, but we haven’t really been able to do that yet,” he said. Once infrastructure investment is made throughout the country, companies could produce a greater number of exports, and Nigeria could be more competitive internationally, he said, citing the textile manufacturing industry as an example.
“We really want to tap into the technology you have in the South and encourage investment from your people,” Mr. Bosah said.
Mr. Bosah, who has served in the Nigerian foreign service since 1977, has lived in Accra, Ghana; London and Warsaw, Poland. He also served as consul general in charge of trade and investment in New York before arriving in Atlanta.
For more information, contact Mr. Bosah at (770) 394-6261.To learn more about the Ogun trade delegation, see “Nigerian Trade Delegation Here Aug. 15” in this week’s issue of GlobalAtlanta or contact Jade Adesuyi at (770) 394-6261 ext. 226 or Patrick Tonui at World Trade Center Atlanta at (404) 880-1562.