The FCT administration provides lots of incentives and the required enabling environment that make its offer irresistible
The first phase of the land swap programme is oversubscribed. Over 40 investors, local and international, applied to participate out of which 15 were selected for the 16 districts in the phase one. That is about 300 per cent surplus. Many factors account for this rush of interest in the programme.
Abuja, Nigeria’s young federal capital is very attractive for living and for business. It is rated as one of the best 10 liveable cities in the world. It is the most secured city in Nigeria, the most populous Black country in the world. Abuja sits smugly in the centre of the country. And with a population of over 170 million people, it is the biggest market in the African continent. Abuja ranks among the best states in Nigeria in business rankings and is the easiest city in the country to start a business.
According to the Abuja Investment Company Limited, AICL, real estate, hospitality, transport, and financial services are some of the sectors that promise a high return on investment in Abuja. Land swap programme falls into this category.
In addition, the privatisation of all sectors formerly monopolised by government corporations is yielding tremendous returns for investors, negative market assessments prior to each round of privatisation and emerging security challenges notwithstanding. This underscores the great potential and high viability of business in Nigeria.
“Investors in the television, telecommunications, and now power sectors are catering to a large market base whose proven purchase powers have helped investor companies raise their revenue exponentially. The Nigerian government recognises the private sector as the ‘engine of growth and creator of wealth’ and so is the main focus of ongoing reforms being implemented since the country’s return to democracy,” says AICL.
Some incentives available to investors willing to set up business in Abuja are:
- Access to land via the FCT Land Swap Initiative.
- Tax incentives like the pioneer status, “local value added” enterprises, local raw materials utilisation, labour intensive production, etc.
- The Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) is developing additional exports processing zones in different parts of the country.
- Nigeria is a signatory of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, MIGA, of the World Bank which issues guarantees against non-commercial risks.
- Very successful privatisation programme.
- Considerably large Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) market. (250 million people).
- Non-oil sector export incentives like the Export Expansion Grant and the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation scheme
- Competitive labour costs
- Export promotion of locally made goods
For the land swap investors, the return on investment projections clearly show that investors would recoup their investment and make profit in a very short period. (See box).
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