Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), yesterday, decried the impact of security challenges on business and investors’ confidence in the country, saying that an estimated N200 billion planned investment in agro allied industries has been put on hold.
Asides, the United States of America, Consul-General, Mr John Bray, said that the private investment of US companies in Nigeria was more than $8.1 billion.
LCCI President, Babatunde Ruwase, who stated this in Lagos during the second meeting of the chamber with top security brass in the country, titled ‘Security Meets Business Dialogue Session’, lamented low investment activities in the North-east as a result of incessant attacks by Boko Haram.
“In recent years, the country has been grappling with serious security challenges bordering on terrorism, religious and ethnic crises, attacks on oil installations, kidnapping, armed robbery and attacks by herdsmen.
“The impact of these security challenges on business and investors’ confidence is phenomenal. Not much investment activities are taking place in the north-eastern part of the country, perhaps to a lesser degree, in some other parts of the country.
“Nigeria’s position in the Transparency International Security Ranking has plunged to 419 out of 163 countries”, he said.
He noted that the nation’s oil and gas sector is facing fresh threats of attacks on oil installations. “Attacks by herdsmen on farming communities across the country are not abating, resulting in increasing loss of lives. Agricultural activities are being negatively impacted.”
He explained that due to incessant attacks, there have been an increase in insurance premium on security related risks by over 10 per cent over the last one year, an estimated N78 billion spent by ICT/Telecoms companies in replacing stolen and vandalized equipment.
Ruwase said many rural farmers are holding back from the current planting season because of the fear of attacks by herdsmen and food security is at risk as agricultural production is threatened by security concerns, adding that food inflation is already at 20 per cent as against 12 per cent for core inflation.
“Raw material sourcing for agro-allied industries in the country is faced with heightened risk while there is growing negative effect on investors’ perception and confidence about the security of lives and property in the country,” he said.
The US Consul-General, Mr John Bray, said the private investment of US companies in Nigeria was more than $8.1 billion.
He said despite the security challenge of the country, some American companies had thrived while some that could not cope left the country.
He said to address the issue, the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Trade and Industry of the US and their Nigerian counterpart would hold dialogue to identify impediments in business environment.
Bray said the dialogue session would forge collaboration between the public and private sectors to improve security in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said that combating terrorism successfully was the greatest challenge facing most 21st century nations.
Buratai was represented by Maj-Gen. Enebong Udoh, GOC, 81 Division, Nigerian Army.
He said the Nigerian Army is poised to confront all prevailing and evolving internal and external threats in order to guarantee the nation’s territorial integrity at all times.