Nigeria instability keeping investors away, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says foreign investors are interested in Nigeria but are afraid of forex scarcity which would make it difficult to recover their money.

Miriam Tamene, senior financial sector expert, International Monetary Fund (IMF), said this during a visit by the fund’s team to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Abuja.

“At the annual meetings of IMF, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw many investors interested in the securities market in Nigeria.

“A lot of people think that Nigeria is still an investors’ destination, the main concerns most of them had was the fear that they might not be able to take out their money anytime they want to hence they are being very watchful.

“Investors are interested in Nigeria, but with difficulties they had in getting their money out recently, that confidence is not there yet.

“It has improved though, but they are still watching. It is still so much fragile and not what they can take for granted just yet.”

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She urged monetary and regulatory authorities to roll out policies that would reduce inflation rate and increase access to funds to improve economic growth in 2018.

The IMF team is in Nigeria to get an update on developments in key sectors of the economy, which will be presented to the IMF board in February.

In November, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said foreign airlines had $221 million trapped in Nigeria.

The crash in the global prices of commodities had reduced government’s revenue in commodity-based economies and led to dollar shortages, putting local currencies under pressure.

This made it difficult for foreign investors to repatriate their dollar profits in full.

To improve forex availability to businesses, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced an investors and exporters window forex trading.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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