THE LEGAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN NIGERIA WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF NEPAD AND AGOA

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THE LEGAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN NIGERIA WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF NEPAD AND AGOA

Abstract:

Any country’s economic score sheet is influenced by the events within and from abroad. The reality of globalization has come to mean that the former speaks louder now than in the days past when domestic measures dictated matters. The passion being expressed by the Nigerian government for foreign investments needs to be examined in the context of the two tendencies broadly shown by a nationalistic approach in which nationalization, indigenization and control are key factors and by liberalization in which deregulation and privatization are notable. Nigeria indeed practised the first hoping to achieve growth, development and selfsufficiency that way before courting, gently at first, the second. This study begins where the former stopped. It examines the high points of the national approach which relied so much on domestic measures and legislation, in this case exchange control and indigenization laws. It then considers the crisis stage when Nigeria was torn between the two: this is shown for instance in her not totally repealing the indigenization laws but conceding some participation without voting (control) rights to foreign investors and admitting some liberality into foreign exchange holding and administration until, finally, in 1995 when by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission Act, Act No. 16 of 1995 and the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Act No. 17 of 1995 the existing structures were dismantled to allow unrestrained foreign investments in Nigeria. The place of external influences is examined in relation to certain trends, some legal, other not, which affect foreign investments. This work accepts the reality of such influences, even to the extent of testing the host countries’ economic sovereignty. Questions of regional integration and co-operation in Africa are considered in terms of their potential to affect domestic measures, and it is in this sense that NEPAD is considered and related with them. AGOA, as a life – line, is also considered as offering potentials which could enhance investments particularly in the agricultural and agri-business sectors. Those being the case, laws on these sectors are examined to test their harmony with AGOA. All of these offered an opportunity to see what appear to be those areas in Nigerian law where changes are necessary in order to produce good results.

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