Review of bilateral investment‎ treaties to ensure improved benefits for Nigeria

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on Tuesday said its efforts to review as well as validate bilateral investment treaties entered by Nigeria with several other countries were to ensure Nigeria harvest maximum investment benefits from such bilateral trade deals.
Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary of NIPC, gave the information during an interaction with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
The executive secretary, who expressed concern that the commission during the review exercise noted that 17 out of 21 bilateral investment treaties scored less than 10 over 20 in ratings, as she noted that the review had become necessary to ensure Nigeria draw maximum benefits from various trade agreements.
“Some of the ‎investment treaties agreements was negotiative long time ago. Some of them need to be reviewed in line with sustainable development goals. Some of them were negotiated in early 90s and may not factor in some current challenges we are facing now, such as terrorism and illicit flow concerns,” Yewande explained.
She spoke of the efforts of the commission to review the NIPC Act, which she said needed some review to ensure it fitted into the demands of global investment promotion standards.
“‎The NIPC Act is certainly due for review‎ because it has been a long while since the Act was enacted in 1995, and the demands of modern trade and investment deals had necessitated the demand for a new investment drive,” she said.
The NIPC Act was drafted in 1995, and some of the demands of 2019 investment drive are not captured in the Act. Already, we are engaging the Legislators in terms of what is required to make the review and we are making progress, she stated.
The executive secretary informed further that the commission had embarked on and completed some initiatives that would aid in the inflow and facilitation of investment into the country.
These initiatives include iGuide Nigeria: Compendium of Investment Incentives in Nigeria; Daily NIPC Intelligence Newsletter and Report on Investment Announcements in 2018.Others are, Investment Opportunities Profiling; Direct Investors Summit Nigeria (DISN) 2018;Nigeria Investment Certification Programmes for States (NICPS); Country-Focused Investment Promotion Strategy; Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) reforms, a revamped website and one stop Investment Centre (OSIC) Lab, among others.
She disclosed further that the IGuide Nigeria is an easy-to-use online investment guide that provides investors with up to date and pertinent information on the processes, procedures and basic costs of doing business in Nigeria and ‎provides information on starting business, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor rights, growth sectors and opportunities.
Speaking further on the compendium of investment incentives, she explained that it was meant to compile fiscal incentives in Nigeria, tax laws and duly approved sectors, specific incentives and has six principal sections that deal with investment policies and protections; general tax based incentives and sector specific incentives.