This formed 19.52 per cent of the $21.69bn that was invested into Nigeria from various countries in the period according to ‘Nigeria Capital Importation’ data from the National Bureau of Statistics for 2020, 2021, and 2022.
South Africa is the largest African investor in Nigeria, with $2.34bn (N1.09tn) invested in the time under review. This is as many South African businesses in areas such as telecommunications, engineering, banking, retail, and more have found a home in Nigeria.
MTN Nigeria, majorly owned by MTN Group, is one of South Africa’s successful business imports into Nigeria. Standard Bank, known as Stanbic Bank, is another well-known success story. Before their exit from the Nigerian market, Shoprite and PEP stores (both in the retail sector) dominated their space. Multichoice, owners of DSTV and GOTV, are also examples of South African firms operating in the country.
In 2022, Mauritius Commercial Bank disclosed plans to open an office in Nigeria. A post on the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission stated that MCB’s Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking, Thierry Hebraud, revealed it on the sidelines of the ongoing Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
He said, Today, more than 50 per cent of our balance sheet is outside Mauritius, and the major part is in Africa.
A Business Insider Africa report stated that the bank has close to $850m invested in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Other African investor countries in the time under review include Botswana ($1.29m); Congo ($148m); Cote d’Ivoire ($10m); Egypt ($16.14m); Guinea ($50m): Ghana ($31.78m); Kenya ($20.87m); Morocco ($43.97m); Niger ($2m); Sierra Leone ($2m); Seychelles ($700,000); Somalia ($400,000); Sudan ($53.59m); Togo ($225.89m); Uganda ($120,000), and Zambia ($1.4m).
According to NBS, investment (capital importation) data is obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria and includes imported physical capital, such as equipment, and financial capital importation. These investments are divided into three main categories: foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and other investments.
The African Continental Free Trade Area is expected to improve intra-African investments with Nigeria benefiting more. However, foreign direct investment in Nigeria has been falling in recent times due to limited forex availability, security concerns, and other structural challenges.
South African investments fell by 59.33 per cent year-on-year from $1.05bn in 2021 to $428.73m in 2022. Investments from Mauritius crashed from 69.79 per cent y-o-y from $690.91m in 2021 to $208.66m in 2022.
Also, persistently high inflation in the country is affecting the operations of many foreign businesses with sales falling due to reducing purchasing power. Many foreign businesses are exiting the country because of this.
The World Bank recently lamented about Nigeria, “Net FDI inflows are negative, reflecting net withdrawals of equity by foreign investors. FDI and FPI flow into Nigeria do not compare favourably with similar economies of the world, reflecting difficulties with FX availability, security concerns, and other structural challenges in recent years.”