The Financial Times in a new report has chronicled how Nigerian billionaires such as Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu are investing in the country while foreigners remain risk averse.
Dangote is building a 650,000 barrels a day oil refinery in Lagos that costs as much as $12 billion.
Elumelu the Chairman of Africa focused UBA is set to close a $1bn oil block deal soon, while flour-and-cement billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Bua Group is to build a multi-billion-dollar 200,000 barrel a day oil refinery in oil rich Akwa Ibom state.
Meanwhile, Foreign direct investment into Nigeria this year trails Ghana, a country with an economy and population one-seventh the size.
FDI was just $148.6m in the three months to June, down about a third from a year earlier.
Portfolio investors have also fled, seeking safe havens amid global turmoil — inflows fell to $385.3m during the period, down 91 per cent from a year earlier.
Nigeria’s GDP contracted 6.1 per cent in the second quarter and 3.62 per cent in the third quarter, while unemployment and inflation are soaring and food prices are rising.
Analysts say the reason local billionaires are investing in the country despite the bleak macroeconomic background is because they know the terrain and can navigate it better than foreign firms.