Analysis of Investment Opportunity in Nigeria

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Submitted By:
Sonali Verma
Roll No:043054

The petroleum-based economy of Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management, is undergoing substantial economic reform following the restoration of democratic rule in 1999. Nigeria's economic decline, especially during the last 20 years is illustrated by the fact that per capita income, which was US $1000 in 1965 had declined to US $300 by 1998. Within some 18 years, Nigeria had declined from being a low middle income country and amongst the fifty richest countries in the world to one of the 30 poorest.  In 2005, Nigeria achieved a milestone agreement with the Paris Club of lending nations to eliminate all of its bilateral external debt. Under the agreement, the lenders will forgive most of the debt, and Nigeria will pay off the remainder with a portion of its energy revenues. From 2003 to 2007, Nigeria attempted to implement an economic reform program called the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS). The purpose of the NEEDS was to raise the country’s standard of living through a variety of reforms, including macroeconomic stability, deregulation, liberalization, privatization, transparency, and accountability. In 2009, Nigeria took significant steps to strengthen the banking sector. After completing financial audits of all 24 national banks, the Central Bank found 10 of the banks to be undercapitalized or suffering from illiquidity The Obasanjo government supports "private-sector" led, "market oriented" economic growth and has begun extensive economic reform efforts.  Other positive developments included:

* Government efforts to deregulate fuel prices
* Nigeria's participation in the EITI and commitment to the G8 * Anticorruption/Transparency Initiative
* Creation of what had been an effective Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which until 2008 had earned 150 convictions and recovered over $5 billion in mishandled funds; and * Development of several governmental offices to better monitor official revenues and expenditures.

GDP (2008): $183 billion (agriculture 33%; industry 39%; services 28%). Real GDP growth rate (2009): 4.4%. Oil growth: -18%. Non-oil growth: 3%. Per capita GDP (2009): $1,418. 
Inflation (2009): 11.5%
There are however, four distinct systems of law in Nigeria:
* English Law, which is derived from its colonial past with Britain; * Common law, (case law development since colonial independence); * Customary law, which is derived from indigenous traditional norms and practices * Sharia law, used only in the predominantly Hausa and Muslim north of the country. Foreigners may own up to 100% of any Nigerian business (S17) except in the Maritime sector (Cabotage). Under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring & Miscellaneous Provision Act No. 17 of 1995) , foreign investors are free to repatriate their profits and dividends net of taxes through an authorized dealer in freely convertible currency. The other laws which help foreign investors are:

* No enterprise shall be nationalised or expropriated by any Government of the Federation, * No person who owns, whether wholly or in part, the capital of any enterprise shall be compelled by law to surrender his interest in the capital to any other persons.   * There will be no acquisition of an enterprise by the Federal Government unless the acquisition is in the national interest or for a public purpose under a law which makes provision for: (a) payment of fair and adequate compensation, and

(b) a right of access to the courts for the determination of the investor's interest of right and the amount of compensation to which he is entitled.   * Compensation shall be paid without undue delay, and authorisation given for its repatriation in convertible currency where applicable.  ...
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