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Capital imports to Nigeria rise to $16.8b

Capital imports to Nigeria rise to $16.8b

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The value of capital imported into Nigeria rose 37.5 per cent to $16.8 billion last year, data  from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed yesterday.

Much of this huge cash was spent on equities in the country, the NBS data indicated.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday said $10.43 billion of the headline cash went into equities and equity-related investment, with Britain topping the list of countries from which the funds came.

Analysts said foreign funds have tentatively started to pick up shares on the Lagos bourse to position for a rally once the election is over.

The country heads for a presidential election on Saturday. The vote is expected to be tight between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president. More than 60 other candidates are running, but they are seen as having little chance of winning.

Buhari has made rejuvenating the economy a key issue, hoping his record can secure him a second four-year term. Abubakar has touted pro-business policies, including floating Nigeria’s currency, the naira.

Capital imports into Nigeria fell from a peak of $21.32 billion six years ago to $5.12 billion in 2016 as investment dried up in the wake of a currency restriction and recession in the country.

NBS said fourth-quarter capital imports stood at $2.14 billion, down 60.2 per cent from the same quarter a year earlier.

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