Despite allocating a significant amount of funds, totalling N21.04 billion, towards foreign trips over the past three years, 14 states of the federation have failed to attract any foreign investments into their respective domains.
The affected states are Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
Naija News understands that between 2021 and the third quarter of 2023, the listed states were unable to secure any portion of the $14.85bn that foreign investors directed towards Nigeria.
During the period from 2021 to 2023, Bauchi reportedly spent N3.81bn on foreign trips without yielding any tangible results.
Similarly, Bayelsa spent N1.99bn, Benue spent N1.33bn, Borno spent N1.73bn, Cross River spent N663.16m, Ebonyi spent N1.01bn, Edo spent N1.77bn, Gombe spent N32.09m, Imo spent N541.23m, Jigawa spent N1.10bn, Nasarawa spent N541.26m, Taraba spent N2.52bn, Yobe spent N1.24bn, and Zamfara spent N2.77bn.
The figures regarding foreign trips were obtained from state budget performance reports, which were sourced from Open Nigerian States.
It is worth noting that some states did not have complete budget performance reports, with some only providing data for two quarters in certain cases.
Additionally, Kebbi did not receive any foreign direct investments during the review period. However, due to the lack of available data on the amount spent by the state on foreign-related trips, it has been excluded from this report.
Naija News reports that the states mentioned in this report, such as Zamfara, Jigawa, and Nasarawa, have experienced a lack of foreign investments in the last few months.
This lack of investment is in line with a broader decline in investments throughout the country, which can be attributed to issues of insecurity and other concerns.
For example, Zamfara has been heavily affected by banditry in recent years.
According to a report by PUNCH, banditry has become a prevalent issue in the state, with bandits occupying nearly 14 local government areas. This has resulted in a significant decline in farming activities, as more than 70 per cent of farmlands in the state have been abandoned due to the fear of bandit attacks.
In 2022, the Managing Director of Zamfara State Investment Cooperation, Dr. Anas Hamisu Lawal, highlighted that the state’s insecurity has been a major deterrent to attracting investments.
Lawal said, “The first question they always ask is the security situation in the state.”
“They are willing to invest whenever the security situation improves.”
They Do Not Have Potential Investors
Commenting on the lack of foreign investments in these states, a professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Uyo, Akpan Ekpo, recently said to The PUNCH, “They are not importing capital for two reasons. First, they don’t have potential investors who will do that. Secondly, there is insecurity in the country. Those things are not fertile ground for investments.”
An ECOWAS Common Investment Market consultant, Professor Jonathan Aremu, added, “It’s simple. It’s because they don’t have attractive factors. The factors that attract foreign investment are not available in those states. One thing about investment is that it is crisis shy. Investment doesn’t go to places where there are crises. Why? Because investors want stability and predictability in their investments, particularly, having returns on their investments.”
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