By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Insecurity which means that foreign workers and their families can be abducted, robbed or even killed
(2) Government ministers constantly demanding bribes from investors. This is what ultimately drove Richard Branson away from the country
(3) Political uncertainty. Tomorrow, a new government can get elected and unilaterally change the law, refusing to honour long terms agreements that are in place
(4) Ever-changing remittance laws that limit the amount of funds that can be repatriated from Nigeria
(5) Inadequate transport links. Travelling around Nigeria has to be done by car too often and there is not a good enough road network in place linking all of our 774 local government areas
(6) Poor power supply which means all investors need to first of all install generators and then enter into diesel supply deals
(7) Unreliable local suppliers. To function effectively, manufacturers need reliable and effective supply chains. For instance, can anyone confidently know that their Nigerian bottled water supplier will always deliver 100 gallons every week as arranged
(8) Religious extremism. This is especially the case on northern Nigeria where Sharia laws inhibit free movement. For instance, in Kano State, the Hisbah Police are authorised to arrest a man an woman who work together simply for riding in a car together. How do colleagues work together in such an environment?
(9) Our refusal to defy the odds when confronted with challenges. I am sure our attitude of praying to God for solutions to our problems must drive expatriates mad. Rather than work overnight on solutions, we chose to attend vigils. There is only so much you can do with superstitious people
(10) Our weak manufacturing base. When you have to import all the machinery you need, it can negate the advantages of low wages, high returns, a skilled workforce and a huge market.
I think one person in Nigeria should have the responsibility for addressing all these issues. This is the kind of job you could give to a Vice President for instance and have him or her set up an investment task force made up of say the finance and trade & industry ministers, along with the CBN governor. Removing all these bottlenecks will be its sole task.