A former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has stated that Nigeria’s poor external reserves are the major reason why investors are shunning the country and refusing to invest.
He said it would be difficult for investors to bring their money to the country when a lot of other nations were safer havens owing to their huge current external reserves.
Peter Obi said this at the 2nd Capital Market Summit organised by the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
The summit had the theme: ‘The Road to Nigeria’s Economic Recovery – The Capital Market Route’.
“Our poor reserves are the reason our economy is currently dwindling. South Africa has over $800bn in reserves; Malaysia of yesterday has over $90bn in reserves; and Nigeria, which is one of the biggest economies in Africa, has reserves that are far less,” the former governor stated.
Nigeria’s external reserves are currently put at $30.5bn.
“How can foreign investors come to Nigeria when other climes are far attractive?” Obi asked.
He blamed Nigerians for the continued decay in the polity, saying even when leaders were underperforming, the people had continued to sing their false praises in a bid to get favours.
The Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwakwo, commenting on the state of the nation, said the capital market remained very critical to getting the country out of the current economic recession.
But he expressed worry about the capacity of the various economic agents, stressing that there was aneed to build capacity for wealth creation.
Stakeholders at the forum maintained that the country had neglected investment in industrial infrastructure for a very long time, stressing that such investments had the potential to make the country less import-dependent.
They said the public sector had failed the people largely as it had not been able to adequately fund infrastructural development over the years.
Capital market players were urged to take the lead in that regard to create more wealth and generate productive employment opportunities.