All these pledges President Tinubu is seeking are just a Band Aid solution to Africa’s investor deficit. What we really need is to give the rest of the world foreign direct investment quotas

Ayo Akinfe

[1] Over recent weeks President Tinubu has been holding numerous meetings , trying to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into Nigeria. As commendable as this appears, it is only scratching the surface

[2] According to the Africa Development Bank, Nigeria has an annual infrastructural investment deficit of $100bn. This is the level of investment we are looking for, which is a far cry from the $14bn that was pledged at the G20 summit in India

[3] Just appreciating the challenge the World Economic Forum (Wef) faces, Africa only accounts for 4% of global trade, 1% of global manufacturing and more shockingly only accounts for $2.1trn of the world’s $80trn GDP. There are 8bn humans on earth of which some 1.3bn are African. Basically, 16% of humanity are living off 2.6% of its wealth. This is simply not sustainable

[4] In the past, I have written that Wef summits have failed because they did not set compulsory FDI targets for Africa. If the FTSE 100 index companies were all compelled by law to invest just 1% of their turnover in Africa, the economic situation would change overnight

[5] Talking about growth and the elimination of poverty when only 2.6% of the world’s capital is invested in Africa is downright hypocritical and nonsensical. If the industrialised world is honest about lifting Africa out of penury, they should invest in wealth creation across the continent

[6] In this regard, Nigeria has got a massive joker up her sleeve and I am perplexed that no president so far has found it fit to use it. Do you know that Coca Cola started off using kolanuts as its primary ingredient? Well, Nigeria accounts for 45% of global kolanut production with an annual output of 132,000 tonnes. We easily dominate the world market and were kolanuts as important to the global economy as say crude oil, Nigeria would be a top five economy

[8] Now, this is where Nigeria has to learn from the West. When anything is important to their economies, they get laws passed describing them as environmentally friendly and compulsory. If we could get the United Nations, Wef, Unesco, Unicef, the World Health Organisation, etc to demand that at the very minimum, every can of Coca Cola must contain 15% kolanuts, Nigeria is sorted. It would be a licence to print money

[8] Nigeria is the undisputed world leading producer of yam, cassava and kolanuts. Just imagine if we could get international laws passed making their inclusion in certain products compulsory

[9] For instance, today, Coca Cola sells about 2bn bottles or cans a day. Just imagine if every helping had 15% kolanuts in it. Think of how much this would generate for Nigerian producers daily and how many jobs it would create. We need to play hard ball here and get Coca Cola classified as a drug unless it contains kolanuts

[10] President Tinubu has to take the lead on this one. Were I in his shoes I would offer Coca Cola a deal that involved me being conciliatory if they opened can and bottle manufacturing operations, machinery production factories and more bottling and canning plants in Nigeria. All their trucks too must be assembled in Nigeria. In exchange for that, we will not demand that their drink must be 100% kolanuts