By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,
A diaspora group plans to invest in tomato and chilli/pepper, ginger, leather and garment agricultural value chain in Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos and Abia states.
This is contained in a GIZ and Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP) report on potential diaspora investments in Nigerian agricultural value chains like in tomatoes, ginger and chilli. The report was conducted on their behalf by Nextier Advisory.
According to them, the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), funded by the European Union aims to support several selected value chains at the national and regional levels to promote structural transformation and better access to regional and international markets while considering social and environmental concerns.
The program’s primary objectives are to strengthen West African countries’ competitiveness and enhance their integration into the regional and international trading system (WACOMP 2020).
“This study focuses on the Finance pillar of the programme. It seeks to find traditional and innovative finance sources for the selected value chains in tomato (and chilli/pepper), ginger, leather and garment.
“The focus states are Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, and Abia states. The channeling of investment from the diaspora is one of the innovative finance sources that NICOP has highlighted with high potential for the selected value chains.
“This study aims to map out options to channel Diaspora investment by reviewing similar initiatives, engaging the diaspora community and relevant organisations and developing a tool kit to facilitate the channeling of remittances to the selected value chains.
The report further stated that there is an appetite for investing in Nigeria and also in agriculture saying the major restraint in investment in Nigeria is trust.
It also added that Nigeria will receive $21.7 billion in remittances in 2020 as against the 23.8 billion recorded in 2019.
According to them, the foremost factors driving the declines are weak economic growth and uncertainties around jobs in resident country, high USD exchange rates and a weak oil price for oil export dependent countries like Nigeria.
They further explained that the aftermath of the pandemic will mean that physical interactions will be less than optimal and so this might result in delays in response and engagement with key stakeholders.
They recommended that ”the pilot corridor should be chosen between USA and U.K: These corridors have sent the most remittances, have a vast Nigeria population, diaspora groups and have a high GDP per capita. Minimum investment amount should be $1000.
“Data from surveys carried out by the Common Wealth shows that the minimum amount remitted to Nigeria is a little above $1000. Investment should be domiciled in Naira: This will reduce the effects of currency fluctuations and inflation.
“The initiative should target middle-class professionals and high network individuals in the Nigeria Diaspora community. These groups have the financial capacity to risk $1000 without it affecting their net worth.”