Business and Economy
Nigeria is a country endowed with arable land and abundant natural resources. Government policy has been directed towards ensuring that what nature has provided is harnessed and utilized to the fullest, for the benefit of the citizenry. The thrust of the nation’s current economic development policy is as enunciated in the VISION 2010 Report which is: To make Nigeria a major industrial nation and economic power that continually strive for sustained economic growth and development towards the quality of life for all Nigerians. These goals will be achieved through development of a strong public and private sector partnership, enhancement of the nation’s hydrocarbon, agricultural and mineral resources, tourism and sporting talents, promotion of entrepreneurship and competition within the ambit of fair, equitable and enforceable laws, massive investment in education, health, technology and infrastructure, movement towards export-oriented production manufacturing and industrial sectors, promotion of indigenous entrepreneurship and opening the economy to participation by more indigenous and foreign investors.
The realization of these aspirations, had informed the radical and pragmatic economic reforms introduced since the mid 1980’s. The reforms were designed to increase the attractiveness of Nigeria’s investment opportunities and foster the growing confidence in the economy. The reforms resulted in the adoption of liberal and market oriented economic policies, the stimulation of increased private sector participation and elimination of bureaucratic obstacles which hinder private sector investment and long-term profitable business operations in Nigeria. Some of the significant legislations include the Nigerian Investment Promotion Decree 1995 that eliminates all quantitative and qualitative and barriers to free investment in the country, particularly for foreign investors, the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Decree of 1995 that abolishes all restrictions on importation of Foreign goods and repatriation of dividends, the Securities and Exchange Commission Act of 1979 that empowers only the commission to regulate the capital market and determine the price, amount and time which securities of all public companies and enterprises having alien interests are sold to the public, and the Privatization and Commercialization Decree of 1988 that provided for the divestment of Government’s interest in some public enterprises which are best suited for private sector management.
Other National regulations that help promote business and the Nigerian economy include the Nigerian Exchange Control Regulations that include regulation of Capital, profit and dividends, the Nigerian Financial System, comprising of regulatory authorities, banks, and other financial institutions. These financial systems include the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), the Nigerian Insurance Supervisory Board (NISB) and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), and Protection of Industrial Investment and International Trade Business.