Atiku Eyes $9.3bn FDI, Offers Tax Incentives To Investors

Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar, former Nigerian Vice President and presidential aspirant of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), says his administration will increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into Nigeria to $9.3 billion annually, vowing to offer tax incentives to investors.

The $9.3 billion signifies 2.5 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Abubakar, 71, made this claim while delivering his manifesto entitled ‘The Atiku Plan’ on Monday. The former VP said his plan is to get Nigeria working again, adding that over the last 18 months, he has worked with the best experts the country has to offer to come up with policies and plans, which when implemented, will create jobs, reduce maternal mortality, increase investment and tackle the country’s failing infrastructure.

He pledged to deliver on various plans and policies—not promises— that will get the country working again, if elected president in the February 2019 election.

“It is one thing to make promises, but another to get these promises fulfilled. I am not in the game of making glandulous promises, but rather I believe in policies, Atiku said. “I believe in setting goals and coming out with realistic plans, policies in achieving such goals”.

Nigeria’s FDI was less than $1 billion in 2017. The FDI slumped by 29 percent to N379.84 billion in the first half of 2018 from N532.63 billion in the corresponding period of 2017 owing to the closure of two global lenders according to CBN 2018 half year data.

Atiku, a Muslim and former Deputy DG of custom, said his administration will work towards achieving the lowest corporate income tax rate in Africa that will help increase inflows of Foreign Direct investment (FDI) to a minimum.

“In order for us to attract FDI, we will introduce policy reforms including strengthening the credit guarantee initiatives of Infra-Credit by substantially increasing its capital base, guaranteeing a level playing field, full repatriation, non-expropriation and easier land titling, ensuring that the granting of /qualification for tax incentives is automatic, according to predetermined, uniform, and clear criteria, streamlining the multiplicity of, often discretionary, incentives for investment and simplifying the associated complex legislative and regulatory framework,” he stated.

Nigerians will, on February 2019, head for the poll where they will have to vote in their preferred choice for the presidential, governorship and legislative positions.

While a total of 79 political parties have been registered by the Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC), technocrats and political analysts say the elections will be a close contest between the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in which President Muhammadu Buhari seeks re-election and that of the candidate of the opposition PDP.

Nigeria’s president Buhari in his manifesto document entitled ‘Next Level’, launched on Sunday, had hitched on his anti-corruption agenda, to win him a second term bid, a strategy he put forth in his first four years in office.

Africa’s largest economy entered a lengthy recession, owing to a collapse in global oil prices and restiveness in the Niger Delta region that greeted the 75-year old president in his first year in office.

In this new document, Buhari said he is targeting ‘over 15 million new jobs’ by expanding a nationwide vocational skills programme and improving access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans.

Atiku has promised that, if elected, President he will be pro-active in attracting investments and supporting the 50 million small and medium scale enterprises across Nigeria for the purpose of doubling the size of the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product to $900 billion by 2025.

He noted that his administration will also help create jobs by innovating flagship programmes such as the National Open Apprenticeship Programme to enhance the capacity of Master-Craftsmen and women to train 1,000,000 new apprentices every year.

“I have succeeded in running my private enterprises which now employ about 50,000 Nigerians because I believed in policies and I have the discipline to stay with until they become reality”, Atiku said.