Nigeria: OBG Launches 2011 Economic Report

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19 Jul 2011
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New publication puts ambitious reforms and ECOWAS integration in spotlight

 Nigeria, 14th July 2011: Nigeria’s bid to push forward with new economic reforms which include targeting corruption, revamping the energy sector and forging closer links with major international economies is mapped out in a wide-ranging report recently published by Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The Report: Nigeria 2011 provides in-depth analysis of the African state’s reform programme which has increased in momentum following the country’s April elections. It also explores some of the primary constraints on economic growth within Nigeria, as well as the expanding role earmarked for the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) on the international stage.

The publication was launched at a gala event held at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos on July 14th which was attended by more than 200 high-profile guests. Keynote speakers at the launch included former Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga, the Executive Secretary and CEO of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Mustafa Bello, the Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Frank Nweke Jnr and Oxford Business Group’s Regional Editor Robert Tashima.

The new report, which marks OBG’s second publication on Nigeria’s economic activity and investment opportunities, includes a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for foreign investors together with a wide range of contributions from prominent political, economic and business leaders, including the country’s President Goodluck Jonathan.  

Key national figures who give their views on Nigeria’s development include Aganga, Foreign Minister H Odein Ajumogobia, Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

OBG’s report also contains interviews with high-profile international personalities, including the Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero, the British Minister for Africa and the UN Henry Bellingham and the President of the ECOWAS Commission James Victor Gbeho. 

The Group’s new publication provides comprehensive coverage of the major contribution that Nigeria’s industrial sector is expected to make to the country’s long-term economic development, provided key bottlenecks such as poor infrastructure are addressed. It charts the growth registered in key segments across the sector and considers the significant role that the country’s free trade zone projects are set to play when completed in attracting investors to the country.

With extensive infrastructure development earmarked for Nigeria’s telecoms sector, the Group’s publication looks ahead to the investment opportunities that the construction of six ICT parks should produce. OBG’s new report analyses the benefits that increased bandwidth is expected to bring to the sector, with improved data speeds, lower connectivity costs and greater activity on the horizon.

 The Report: Nigeria 2011 puts the country’s hydrocarbons sector under the microscope, offering key analysis of the long-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). Should the PIB be implemented, it will unlock the sector's immense potential but it has been in the works for years now and its failure to pass has slowed investment flows and increased uncertainty. The publication also looks in detail at Nigeria’s plans to bring the private sector on board as part of a bid to boost electricity generation capacity, which up until now has been the country's Achilles heel.

 As ECOWAS continues to secure a growing number of key trade agreements and development projects, OBG’s new report explores the rewards that the bloc is reaping from the alliance. It also considers how the 15 member states can improve the uneven implementation of harmonised standards and tariffs while mapping out the huge potential available to ECOWAS in the form of labour, natural resources and arable land.   

 OBG’s Regional Editor Robert Tashima said that the Group’s latest report on Nigeria captured the country’s notable pace of growth, which is made all the more impressive given the significant limitations constraining further GDP expansion. 

 “The fundamentals of Nigeria's economy, including a large domestic market, dynamic private sector and healthy revenues from the hydrocarbons industry, provide solid foundations for greater growth in the short and medium term,” he said. “To be able to build on these foundations, however, requires a strong appetite for reform, to address major bottlenecks and reduce some of the major inefficiencies within the economy. Our new report charts the potential these reforms offer, and the window of opportunity that the April elections offer.” 

 Tashima also paid tribute to OBG’s partners in Nigeria. “The in-depth knowledge and expertise of our local partners in Nigeria enabled our team to produce a high-quality first report on the country which was given the seal of approval by business leaders worldwide,” he said. “I am confident that by fostering these partnerships we have been able to raise the standards even higher in our 2011 report.” 

The Director General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group Frank Nweke Jnr said The Report: Nigeria 2011 had built on OBG’s launch publication by highlighting the wave of new investment opportunities which were being generated by the country’s changing economic landscape.

“Our organisation has made it a priority to raise Nigeria’s profile among international investors as the country’s economic expansion takes shape,” he said. “Oxford Business Group enjoys a well-deserved a reputation for providing accurate and credible data on emerging economies across the globe. I am delighted that our think-tank has contributed to this important publication which provides clear and concise analysis of the exciting developments taking place in Nigeria.” 

 The Report: Nigeria 2011 has been produced in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Contributions have also been made by Price WaterHouseCoopers, ARM Investments, Ajumogobia and Okeke law firm, and The Guardian.

 The Report: Nigeria 2011 marks the culmination of almost a year of field research by a team of analysts from OBG, assessing trends and developments in all major sectors of the economy, including energy, industry, finance, banking, tourism, transport and real estate. The report will be available in print form and online.