Following recent rebasing of Nigeria's GDP and her becoming the largest economy in Africa, two-times bigger than former largest, South Africa's economy! An influential arm of the World Bank has just announced and moved to implement specialised investment in Nigeria's critical, and most lucrative, sector Oil, Gas and Energy. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, would provide over $1 billion investment guarantees to support infrastructure development in Nigeria. Announcing this on Wednesday in Abuja, Michel Wormser, vice president and chief operating officer of MIGA, said the guarantees would primarily come into Nigeria’s expanding energy sector, manufacturing and also help the private sector, especially the banks expand their businesses outside the country. Womser who was visiting Nigeria to find out critical investment options has held talks with the banks and would also discuss with the government on specific areas of interests that would bring the best values to the country“Over the next couple of years, I expect that MIGA will provide guarantees above one billion dollars in Nigeria. This is primarily going to be in the energy sector. “And the discussions that we are going to have today is to precisely identify with the governments and agencies where they would see the highest value from MIGA involvement,
given the development priorities of the country”, he told some select journalists yesterday. Womser said he was visiting Nigeria to identify areas where MIGA can help the country mobilise capital for important infrastructure projects and other job-creating enterprises to meet its development goals. He said his talks with the private sector operators and banks centered around how MIGA can help them access long term-financing with minimal risks and how to mitigate risks in some sectors they had planned to cominvest in, especially power, manufacturing, infrastructure and also to help them attract co-investors.
“So, the reason for my trip is to present the role that MIGA can play in helping the government in some infrastructure development that it is seeking and to help generate jobs by improving the environment in which enterprises operate. “It is also to talk to Nigerian investors and see how MIGA can be helpful to them as they go outside of the borders of Nigeria”, he said. He observed that Nigeria is a country which has been growing very fast and has become the envy of many countries of the world in terms of the growth. Womser said the banks want to be part of this story, and want to participate in the scaling up of the infrastructure as they see the power sector as providing great opportunities, as well as challenges because of the reforms that are going on.