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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Foreign investment inflow into Nigeria drops to $908m

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Nigerian economy recorded its second lowest investment inflow in 10 years, with the country attracting a total investment of $908.27m in the first quarter of 2017.

The $908.27m investment figure, when compared to the $1.55bn that the economy attracted in the fourth quarter of 2016, represents a decline of $640.61m or 41.36 per cent.

The decline was confirmed in the Capital Importation Report, which was released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistic and made available to our correspondent by the Statistician-General of the Federation/Chief Executive, NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale.

The report attributed the decline in investment inflow to the fall in “other investment” and portfolio investments category made up of equity, which dropped from $176.44m in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $101.99m in the first three months of this year; loans, which declined from $917.01m to $369.28m; and bonds, which recorded $25.4m at the end of the last quarter of 2016 and nothing in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

It read in part, “The total value of capital imported into Nigeria in the first quarter of 2017 was estimated to be $908.27m. Although this was an increase of 27.75 per cent relative to the same quarter of 2016, it was nevertheless 41.36 per cent smaller than the value of capital imported in the previous quarter, and was the second lowest value recorded since 2007.

“There was a high-profile sale of (bonds denoted in a non-local currency) during the quarter, but this has not yet appeared in the data; there is a lag between subscription and actual payment, and, therefore, it is possible that this will show up next quarter.

“Capital importation was particularly low in January, at $187.9m; this was only the fourth month since 2007 in which capital importation was less than $200m.”

The NBS stated in the report that the fall in FDI came after four consecutive quarters of increase, noting that the fall in “other investment” followed three consecutive quarters of increase.

However, it said the data was volatile, adding that the decline in the first quarter might not be sustained.

For instance, the report stated that nearly all of the quarterly fall resulted from declines in capital imported into the telecommunications and oil and gas sectors of the economy.

These sectors, it noted, had recorded unusually high values in the previous quarter.

The report stated that despite the quarterly fall, “other investment” was the largest component of investment inflow in the first quarter of 2017, accounting for $383.28m, or 42.20 per cent of the total.

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