The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission was established in 1995 as a body corporate with perpetual succession under the NIPC Decree, 1995. The commission shall encourage, promote and coordinate investment in the Nigerian economy.
Functions of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (S. 4 NIPCA)
The Commission shall encourage, promote and co-ordinate investment in the Nigerian economy and accordingly, shall—
Co-ordinate and monitor all investment promotion activities to which this Act applies;
Initiate and support measures which shall enhance the investment climate in Nigeria;
Promote investments through effective promotional means;
Collect, collate, analyse and disseminate information about investment opportunities and sources of investment capital, and advise on request, the availability, choice or suitability of partners in joint-venture projects;
Register and keep records of all enterprises to which this Act applies;
Identify specific projects and invite interested investors for participation in those projects;
Initiate, organise and participate in promotional activities, such as, exhibitions, conferences and seminars for the stimulation of investments;
Maintain liaison between investors and Ministries, Government departments and agencies, institutional lenders and other authorities concerned with investments;
Provide and disseminate up-to-date information on incentives available to investors
Assist incoming and existing investors by providing support services
Evaluate the impact of the Commission in investments in Nigeria and make appropriate recommendations;
Advise the Federal Government on policy matters designed to promote the industrialisation of Nigeria or the general development of the economy
Perform such other functions as are supplementary or incidental to the attainment of the objectives of this Act.
One Stop Investment Centre
In its continuous effort to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria, the Federal Government established the One Stop Investment Centre (OSIC) otherwise known as One Stop Shop (OSS) on 21st March 2006.
Nigeria like most African nations has set up statutory bodies to regulate foreign investment in the country. Therefore foreigners interested in carrying on business in the country are required to obtain investment approvals after incorporating their companies. The practice has been that company incorporation and foreign investment approvals are processed in different authorised government agencies. This process was characterised by delays usually caused by government bureaucracy, which also stifled the smooth start up of foreign businesses in Nigeria.
In a bid to ensure the timely incorporation of companies and grant of investment approvals, the government had in the early 1990’s set up the Industrial Development Commission Committee (IDDC) to serve as a one stop agency for all pre-investment approvals. The IDDC had the statutory responsibility to grant Business Permits, Approved Status-in-Principle, Expatriate Quota, approvals on fiscal concessions, vet licensing and transfer agreements and generally advise the Federal Government on policy matters designed to promote the industrialisation of the country.
Although the law establishing the IDDC provided that every valid application received would be processed within two months, this expectation was rarely ever met in practice. The IDDC Act was subsequently repealed by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Act 1995 which established the NIPC to encourage and promote investment in Nigeria. Companies with foreign participation are required to apply to NIPC for registration and the statute provides that within 14 days from the receipt of completed registration forms, NIPC shall register such companies or otherwise advice the applicant accordingly.
Functions of OSIC
This includes simplifying and curtailing the procedures and guidelines for issuing business approvals, permits and authorisations by eliminating bottlenecks faced by investors in establishing and running businesses in Nigeria.
In addition, OSIC is expected to achieve the following functions:
• Reduce the high cost of doing business
• Eliminate dealing with multiple agencies
• Eradicate the use of discretion and lack of transparency in granting approvals, licenses, permits
• Eliminate over bureaucratisation in procedures and processes
• Eradicate poor service delivery
• Ensure Foreign Direct Investment and investor tracking
Features of OSIC
• The participating agencies will maintain their existing mandates and responsibilities within the structure of OSIC
• Only statutory provisions will be administered at OSIC and not special applications
• Agencies will establish their presence at OSIC in phases
• Approval time for business entry approvals is 24 hours
• OSIC covers investments into all sectors of the economy
• It is mandatory for all foreign investors to register with OSIC to facilitate foreign direct investment tracking/investor tracking as provided in the NIPC Act.