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Nigeria Has a Lot of Exciting Investment Opportunities

Nigeria Has a Lot of Exciting Investment Opportunities

Notwithstanding the seeming tension in Nigeria as the general election looms, a renowned global investor and former Chairman of the Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs Group, Dr. Jim O’Neill, has advised investors not to be distracted, insisting that the country has a lot of exciting investment opportunities.

O’Neill said this in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

The economist is famous for coining the BRIC and MINT acronyms.  Both terms refer to large and fast-growing groupings of emerging market countries.
While BRIC stands for Brazil, Russia, India and China, MINT countries comprise Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey.

In order to demonstrate his confidence in the Nigerian economy, O’Neill disclosed  that he recently increased his personal investment in a Nigerian mobile payment firm, Pagatech.

He also insisted that there is no political risk in Nigeria, adding: “Personally, because Nigeria has lots of very exciting opportunities, as an investor in a real business, I am not focused on the election.  Just last week, I added to my investment, demonstrating that I have confidence in the Nigerian economy.”

According to O’Neill, the deliberate efforts by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to encourage entrepreneurs would go a long way in supporting the country’s growth.

He also noted that Nigeria’s macroeconomic policies have been in the right direction.

“I think the government’s efforts to allow more entrepreneurialism has been good and the government’s macroeconomic policies have been encouraging.

“This government’s focus on encouraging entrepreneurship is especially important because of my observation from producing a BBC programme on MINT countries that Nigeria was more entrepreneurial than the other three countries in the group – Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.

“The single biggest thing in my head, which is particularly prevalent in Nigeria, is the scale of creativity and ingenuity of people and that really gives Nigeria an edge.

“I don’t think a lot of other largely populated emerging countries have that and frankly, not all developed countries have that,” he added.

According to O’Neill, “I think, like I said before, Nigeria should be included in the G-20. South Africa is in the G-20, whereas Nigeria is bigger.”

However, he advised Nigeria and other oil producing countries to use the opportunity of falling crude oil prices to diversify their economies.

According to O’Neill, falling crude oil prices would test the flexibility of the Nigerian economy.

The renowned economist explained: “In my opinion, for all oil producing economies, it is important that as oil prices decline, they should diversify and not just depend on oil prices.

“It is very dangerous for oil producing countries to just depend on oil. In some way, declining oil prices is an important test of Nigeria’s economic resilience.”

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