Nigeria has a huge potential of economic growth and development, thanks to its rich agricultural resources, excellent transport system, and many other factors. However, it is essential for any country that wishes to sustain economic growth and development to boost economic policies and develop policies that will assist these processes of economic growth and development. Many experts believe that Nigeria has one of the most successful set of economic polices in sub- Saharan Africa, where major drivers of economic growth and development include sound foreign policy, sound exchange and commerce policy, sound private and public investment policy, and free trade and protectionism. As regards the government's role in boosting economic growth and development in Nigeria, most analysts agree that the government needs to strengthen its commitment towards growth and development in the country and strengthen governmental frameworks to support these policies. The first step towards this is to strengthen government policies on foreign investments in Nigeria.
In order to encourage foreign investment in Nigeria, the government needs to improve its existing legislation on foreign investment, including its Investment Act, Foreign Direct Investment Act (FDI), and its Obligation of Business Activities (OBA). The Investment Act regulates foreign direct investment, while the Foreign Direct Investment Act governs the transfer of funds from abroad to Nigeria, and the OBA deals with transactions involving direct investment by non- Nigerian nationals in Nigeria. Since FDI is an investment that is not normally considered as 'direct' by the law, it needs to be promoted through an Overseas Development Authority (ODA) intermediary, who will ensure that the investment goes through the transactional law of Nigeria.
Given the fact that economic policies are implemented in order to support growth and development in Nigeria, it is expected that there will be a continued influx of skilled workers to the country. This would lead to an increase in productivity in the economy. Given the current levels of unemployment in the country, the infrastructural development of the economy needs to be improved to encourage more businesses to invest. For this, the government should initiate measures that would enable it to attract foreign investment in the form of loans and other forms of credits.
Given the current scenario, the government has yet to release its investment plan for the economic boom and development in Nigeria. However, an outline of the plan has already been released, which outlines various measures to be taken to improve the infrastructural development of the economy. Among these measures are measures to promote business connectivity in the country. This is done through creating inter-ministerial working groups to identify key barriers hindering investment in the private sector and then working to remove them. The extent to which business leaders believe that the government has yet to release its investment plan is doubtful. Given the chronic lack of investment in the past few years coupled with continuing corruption cases, the chances of significant infrastructural development are minimal.
In order to foster better business conditions, the government is also required to implement anti-money laundering and counter-money laundering procedures. At present, the Nigeria's anti-money laundering laws are being lagging behind the international standards, which have been progressively adopted by most developed countries. The lack of awareness regarding these laws among business owners is the major reason for the failure of government anti-money laundering policy in Nigeria. There have been several instances of money laundering in the past, particularly in the construction sector. As a result, many businessmen and even government officials have been implicated and convicted in court for being involved in the money laundering. Economic growth and development in Nigeria would become difficult, if not impossible, without the implementation of a strict anti-money laundering and anti-corruption policy in the country.
Another key issue hindering investment and improving economic conditions in Nigeria is the lack of political will and commitment from the government to pursue a successful economic development and growth agenda. . . . . . . A majority of the ministers and vice-ministers in Nigeria currently have little or no experience in running a business organization, much less government. Given the plethora of corruption cases that have been exposed, it is very unlikely that any of them will be able to handle the economic challenges that the country will be facing due to its inability to modernize its business sectors. For this reason, business owners need to look for more capable government officials who will be able to lead and mentor them in the areas of business. This would help improve the overall efficiency of the Nigerian government and pave the way for a sustained economic growth and development in Nigeria.