The Chairman of Heirs Holdings and United Bank for Africa has said that it is heart breaking for multinational firms to chose Ghana as their investment destination, despite Nigeria’s large market for their product in the continent.
Elumelu said this on Wednesday on Arise TV ‘Morning Show.’
He said, “What you made is a valid point and one that keeps some of us up at night. My hear bleeds when you see such conglomerates moving their investments or cut out of Nigeria to Ghana.”
Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, last month announced that Hyundai and KIA are set to establish assembly plants in Ghana, in what analysts see as another round of snub for Nigeria.
Earlier in the same month, Twitter selected Ghana as the best choice for its first African headquarters.
In Africa, Amazon reached an agreement with Cape Town Authorities to build its African headquarters in the country.
The Heirs Holding Chairman said, “Nigeria is the market. It is huge market and honestly the macro economic environment needs to improve.
“The concern most of them have is the security challenges we have in the country. But for us at the private sector, the best way we sell our country is through the investment that we make.
“When I go out and people say in Nigeria things are bad, I say to them their is no where else you can get return on investment as what you get here in Nigeria. I speak as an investor in Nigeria, as an investor in Africa.
“The truth is that we just need to be totally aware of the trend of people leaving out of the country to invest in smaller economies.”
Elumelu said he has engaged the Minister of Trade and Investment, Ayo Adeniyi, on the development who in turn revealed plans to remedy the situation.
For the private sector players, Elumele said investing in Nigeria would pass signals that the Nigerian economy is viable for investment.
He noted that his company, Heirs Holdings, was able to raise $1.1bn for its OML 17, adding that only two Nigerian banks, Fidelity Bank and Union Bank participated in the funding.
According to him, most part of the money came from foreigners.
Elumelu said, “That is a kind of signaling the confidence boosting measures we all need to take to help correct” the situation.
“Ultimately the ease of doing business must improve for the country to attract and improve investment in Nigeria.”