Elumelu Woos India Investors; Indian Private Sector Promises Tinubu  $14 Billion Investment In Nigeria

By Stephen Ubanna

Barely two months after the   British Multinational pharmaceutical   giant, GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, exit Nigeria after 51 years of operation due to increased competition from local companies and imports from the big economies of the Asian countries of India and China, which was said to have forced a drop in its half year  sales from  N14.8 billion to N2.75 billion, President Bola Ahmed  Tinubu could  heave a sigh of relief as a new door has opened for other foreign investors to come in.

Although the British pharmaceutical company may have tried to convince the Nigerian public  that its intent of leaving Nigeria to their home country, Britain,  is to increase its Commercialisation  of its prescription  medicines  and vaccines through the Nigerian  subsidiary, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer  Nig.plc, Beecham Limited     and other GSK  local operating companies  and transition to third party  direct distribution   model  for its pharmaceutical products  was not enough  for the Nigerian government to open its door for other  foreign investors to come into the country.

Elumelu , CFR, a multi-billionaire business mogul and  established investor, who  incidentally is the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa, UBA plc, a pan African bank,  and Heirs Holdings Group who was said to be among the Nigerian President entourage that had traveled to New Delhi, Capital of India , on the invitation of Narendra Modi,  the Indian Prime Minister to attend the G20 meeting , may have used the opportunity of the meeting to woo the Asian country investors, during the Nigeria -India  Presidential Roundtable  and Conference, jointly organised  by the High Commission  of Nigeria to India, the Confederation of  Indian Industry, ICII,  and the Nigeria -India Business Council  on Wednesday, September 6, 2023,   telling them that ‘’this is the best  time to invest in Nigeria’’.

Elumelu,  who was an invitee of the Tinubu,  to the New Delhi G20 meeting, in India and as co-Chair of   of the B20 Action Council  focussing on  African economic  integration , the private sector  counterpart to the B0,  in a keynote address at the Business roundtable Conference  that was said to have been joined by the private sector leaders  and other global investors was said to have urged them  to move fast in accessing, the rapidly evolving  Nigerian economy  which  is home’’ to 20% Africans  and one of the largest  Consumer  populations globally put at about 200 million people’’.

 Speaking as one of the major investors in Nigeria who has built  a pan African  financial service business  empire and now controls  significant   power and  natural resources  operations, he had said that the Companies  in the Group’s investment portfolio demonstrate the huge opportunities in the Nigerian economy, urging the Indian private sector  leaders   ‘’to take advantage  of the track record and success  of the companies in the Group to invest in the Nigerian economy’’ .

The Nigerian business mogul keynote address at the Presidential roundtable and Conference hosted by Tinubu, President of the most populous African country, Nigeria, may have strike the right chord, as the Indian investors were said to  have assured  the Nigeria President  of their readiness  to facilitate  fresh  $14 billion  investment  into the West African country.

Many believe that the Nigerian President had accepted the invitation of Modi, the Indian Prime Minister to attend the G20 meeting holding in New Delhi, the Asian country’s capital, from September 9th and 10th, 2023,  as a non -member of the Group, which is a forum for International  economic Cooperation, with a mindset to attract Foreign Direct Investment, FDI,  of private  capital from India  for the development  of the nation’s critical  infrastructure

The Nigerian President   was said to have focused attention on meetings with the Indian private sector leaders   and other business executives of the world’s most valuable companies to discuss investment in the critical sectors of the nation’s economy involving steel development, electricity generation, transmission and distribution, shipyard building capacity, for the creation of employment.

Ajuri Ngelale,  Chief Pres Secretary to the President on Information, Communications , Media and Publicity ,  had listed the new investments to include  Indorama  Petrochemical Limited, which was said to have pledged the North American country of the United  States, US, eight   billion  dollar  in the expansion of  its fertilizer  production  and petrochemical plant  in Eleme, Rivers state, Jindal Steel and Power Limited,  believed to be one of  the India’s largest  private sector steel producers  and which was said to have also pledged  to  investment 3 billion in Nigeria.

Sachdeva -India Private sector Investor

The Presidential spokesperson also disclosed that Jitender Sachdeva, another Indian private sector leader and notable investor also gave his words and promised to stand by it   o going to invest $1.6 billion  in the establishment of a 20 100MW power generation  plants across  the i9 states in northern Nigeria , amounting to  2,000MW of  new power   within the next four years.

He did not stop there. He had said that another Indian firm, Bharti Enterprises, described as one of the major  first  generation  Corporations in the Asian country , with investments   in telecom, pace Communications,  digital solutions, Insurance , processed foods, real estate and hospitality,   had expressed its commitment   to invest an additional $700 million  in the Nigerian economy , with work set to start immediately.

The Presidential Aide   further disclosed that the Nigerian President has approved the finalisation on a new $1 billion  agreement to bring  to bring the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria , DICON, to 40% self-sufficiency  in local manufacturing   and  production of defence equipment  in the country  by 2027, through a comprehensive new partnership  with  the Managing  arm  of the  Military -Industrial  complex  of the Indian government, which should the Nigerian military Chiefs.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

.  An appreciative Nigerian President, who could not hide his feelings was said to have commended the Indian investors for the significant investment pledges amounting to $14 billion ‘, reassuring the India private sector leaders that the Nigerian government   will give them ‘’the best returns for investment possible as obtained in any part of the world and even better.  

The Nigerian President who could beat his chest that there is nowhere like his home country, insisting that that West African country   offers best returns for investment today,’’. urging them alongside Eumelu, the Nigerian business mogul, who has dominated the Nigerian business environment over the years   ‘’to invest now’’.

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