The Chief Executive Officer of Dynatech Group, Sir Chigozie Chukwudi Okafor, has warned on the danger of neglecting domestic investors. He said that in the process of embracing foreign investors the government should not neglect the domestic investors. He said that foreign money always looks exciting to countries that are receiving the influx and the host communities, indigenous talents and domestic investors get forgotten. “This is where the problem lies. And this is why the government must be intentional about domestic investors.”
He identified funding and government policies as the bane of Nigerian entrepreneurship. He said that domestic investors and entrepreneurs will be motivated to put even more resources into Nigeria’s development if they get more incentives and motivation. According to him Nigerian entrepreneurs are some of the smartest on the planet. It would seem that they never lack ideas and human resources to execute them. “However, funding and policies have been the bane of Nigerian entrepreneurship for a long time.”
Speaking on the way out of the current economic hardship he said that if the government can address the issues he just raised not only will this reduce the brain drain Nigeria currently faces; the “Japa syndrome” as many call it, but will instill in its citizenry some fresh confidence in the fact that the country will survive the current global economic slowdown and even thrive.
“Funding and policies will play the most important roles in this journey. If Nigerian entrepreneurs, investors and industrialists can get access to funding, plus new favourable policies, there is almost nothing they won’t achieve. Should this support not come, we may have to brace ourselves for even gloomier times ahead”
“Nigeria belongs to Nigerians and the people that care the most about Nigeria are Nigerians regardless of where they live and what they do for a living. Patriotism, nation-building and community development will take a massive upwards tilt if government pays a bit more attention to home-based industrialists, investors and capitalists who will be around for the long-run.”
He added that:“People who leave their countries to invest in other countries are by default in it for profit; which is a noble reason to be fair. The motivation is somewhat apparently the same for indigenous entrepreneurs. But there is more.
“Beyond profits,they tend to want to empower their countrymen. In fact, they often give a portion of local talents a chance to work instead of importing all of their workforce.”
He went on to add “Also, domestic investors are way more likely to give back to their immediate societies through charities and community intentional development projects because beyond profits, they want to be acknowledged and highly regarded in their home country”
He said that domestic investors are for the Long-term nation building.
“This means they have no plans of leaving with their investments on maturity. As Dr. Stanley Imoisili, founder of Safeli.ng, once observed “In most countries of the world, domestic investors are far more likely to build solid structures and invest for the long-term than foreign investors”.
“Before capitalists invest their money in any country, they try to ensure that all of their resources will be safe. Usually, there’s no place they feel this safety more than their homeland. In fact, other than the unpleasantness of social unrest and factors like that, investors feel safest in their home countries when it comes to solid long-term investments”
“Another way to look at this is the economic hardship that comes in periodic cycles. When the chips are down, foreign investors tend to count their losses, pack up and leave but domestic capitalists usually stay put till the end hoping things get better. Now whether they realize it or not, they support the government in job creation, youth engagement, as well as community and social development regardless of socioeconomic undertones,” he said.