Key questions this article answers:

  1. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) are critical for growth in developing nations like Nigeria. How has Nigeria’s FDI fared in recent years?

  2. Given its importance to growth, how can the incoming-President Bola Tinubu increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows?

In 2010, Nigeria was chief among some African countries tagged as the “Lions on the Move”—a moniker coined for countries expected to drive the continent’s growth over the next decade. This growth was to be driven by a thriving demand for commodities and increased access to foreign capital by African countries.

After returning to democratic rule in 1999, the “Giant of Africa” witnessed 8.4% average GDP growth during the Obasanjo administration (1999-2007). However, growth slowed to an average of 6% under the Yar-adua/Jonathan era (2007-2015) before nose-diving to 2-3% under the Buhari administration (2016-date).



The reasons for this drop in GDP growth are linked to the same drivers noted earlier. During the two recessions (2016 & 2020), there was a sharp drop in the price and, more recently, production of Nigeria’s main export commodity, oil.

The second reason, which is the main focus of this article, is the drop in the country’s foreign investments, especially under the Buhari administration. 

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently revealed that foreign investments in Nigeria dipped 21% year-on-year (y/y) in 2022 to $5.3 billion from $6.7 billion in 2021. Compared to 2019, the decline is a whopping 80%.