SPOTLIGHT NIGERIA 2018- PRESS RELEASE
Paris, 10th October 2018
Friends of Nigeria (FON) organized the Spotlight Nigeria 2018 which held October 4th – 5th at the Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, Paris. The event offered a platform for business leaders, companies and investors meet to discuss opportunities and forge partnerships related to investments in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Over 150 business leaders and investors from seven (7) countries attended, with most from France and Nigeria. Spotlight Nigeria 2018 was co-organized with the Embassy of Nigeria in Paris under the patronage of the Ambassador of Nigeria to France, H.E Dr. Modupe. The event had notable organizations as sponsors and partners for the event, mostly leading organizations across various sectors.
It would be recalled that President Emmanuel Macron visited Nigeria in July 2018, and became the first French president to spend ample time in Lagos, Nigeria’s foremost Commercial city. Friends of Nigeria (FON) was the only non-profit that was enlisted as a founding member of the France-Nigeria Business Club that was launched by President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Nigeria. During his address to young entrepreneurs, President Macron emphasized non-traditional sectors; especially the creative industry, cultural sectors, and the technology. These sectors allow for greater youth participation, cultural exchanges, inclusive entrepreneurship, and development.
Spotlight Nigeria 2018 featured top quality roundtable discussions that addressed concrete opportunities and the challenges of doing business in Nigeria, interactive Q&A sessions, detailed presentations that provided clarity on different administrative processes related to investment in Nigeria and also matchmaking sessions where companies had the chance to discuss partnership opportunities and projects. From the various sessions and engagements, the following consensus was re-echoed;
Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is not a representative of Nigeria’s potential. Oil and Gas contributed less than 10 percent to GDP in Q1 of 2018, with non-traditional sectors and services contributing the most to GDP and to the economy.
- Nigeria’s over 190 Million population size presents massive opportunity for investments across several sectors, especially Agriculture, Real Estate and Construction and services. With a growing population and middle class, consumer demand remains on the increase, presenting opportunities for foreign investments and strategic partnerships in food production and processing, consumer goods, services, and infrastructure. There are already cases of successful partnerships and joint ventures, and some of the companies involved attended the event.
- Nigeria is unarguably Africa’s leading technology space with the highest concentration of digital and technology hubs in Sub-saharan Africa growing at an annual rate of 139%. Lagos Nigeria counts more hubs and programmes than any other city across the African continent with leading organizations like Google and Facebook setting up hubs in the city. Nigeria has the largest mass of skilled tech-savvy young professionals and entrepreneurs in Sub-saharan Africa, offering an investment ready climate for foreign investors in the digital and technology space.
- Nigeria’s Creative industry is not exploited to its potential yet by French and European investors. Nigeria’s Nollywood is the 2nd largest producer in terms of volume globally. Investors can take advantage of the investment, partnership and knowledge sharing opportunities that exist
- There is an increasing appetite for Nigerian companies to expand across the West African region, and indeed other parts of Africa. Increased franco-Nigerian business relations could also increase the expansion of Nigerian companies across the region allowing for greater regional integration and partnerships. This trend is on a steady increase.
- Nigeria still leads in remittances from the Diaspora into sub-saharan Africa with $22.3 billion in 2017 out of the total $37.8 billion for the entire region. Nigerian professionals and entrepreneurs in Diaspora have a huge role to play, to ensure that the majority of remittances are targeted towards investments, supporting local entreprises, and towards development initiatives.
- The Nigerian government needs to intensify its efforts in improving the country’s international image in order to attract the amount of foreign investments needed for the economy. Foreign investors already present in Nigeria are of the opinion that there is a misrepresentation of the actual state of challenges and opportunities. Platforms and initiatives like Spotlight Nigeria contribute towards the improvement of Nigeria’s reputation, but the government has an important role to play in sensitizing investors and providing the right information, processes, and policies that would increasingly entice and attract foreign investors.
- Trade between France and Nigeria stood at 3.6 Billion Euros in 2017 and Nigeria remains the largest trading partner of France in Sub-saharan Africa. There is an increasing appetite for partnership between French and Nigerian companies. Nigerian Business Leaders and Investors call upon the French Authorities to ease the arduous and lengthy processes for obtaining business visas to France from Nigeria. The rate of visa refusals is still a cause for alarm and could be an impediment to long-term business relations, as potential partners would begin to look elsewhere to Countries that have better visa friendly processes for Nigerian business leaders and investors.
A number of partnership opportunities were discussed and consummated during the Spotlight Nigeria 2018. Indeed, it can be said that the event engendered “partnership that works”.
More information on: www.spotlightnigeria-france.com
About Friends of Nigeria (FON)
FON is a non-profit organization registered in France which is involved in facilitating the access of Nigerian professionals and entrepreneurs in Europe to business and professional development opportunities and promoting Nigeria’s attractiveness to French and European companies and investors.
For more information contact us on:
M: +33699733135; +33758683771; +2348097543000