Nigeria needs foreign investment to drive its economy to the next level.

But due to persistent security concerns – from boko haram in the north to Niger Delta militants in the South – investors have shunned Nigeria looking instead to East Africa.

At the 6th Sustainability in the Extractive Industries Conference organised by CSR-in-Action on Wednesday in Abuja, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu echoed security concerns as it affects Nigeria’s economic health.

“There is some level of latent difficulty for investors to come and invest in Nigeria due to security concerns, among other issues,” 

“How do you open your economy in terms of foreign participation? There is almost some level of latent difficulty for investors to come into this country. First of all, they deal with the issue of security.

“Now, when we say security, every country has its own difficulties. You may find that if you take a crime-to-crime analysis, I’m sure that we are not necessarily worse than most countries. But it is just the publicity that we give to certain things that happen here.

“Two, the certainty of a foreigner to walk the streets and be protected; we need to begin to address this problem for it is not all about the incident.

“We need to take security very seriously. And over the next five years if we are going to do this, we need to also invest in our security to a point where regional policing and state policing are key.”

Kachikwu has also affirmed the government's plan to stop importing fuel by the end of 2019.