Investment to Nigeria down by a third in first quarter

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LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Foreign investment to Nigeria fell by nearly a third with the United States a "key driver" of the decline in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

"High levels of uncertainty in the quarter due to a postponed election and depressed oil prices resulted in year on year declines in inflows" of $1.23 billion or 31.6 percent, said a new report published this week.

The decline is even sharper, at $1.8 billion or more than 40 percent, when comparing the last quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, it said.

Capital importation to Africa's biggest oil producer totaled $2.67 billion for the opening quarter, the lowest in two years, the bureau said, quoting figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Former colonizer Britain remains the biggest source of foreign investment for Nigeria followed by the United States.

March 28 elections were delayed for six weeks to allow a multinational military offensive against Boko Haram Islamic extremists in the northeast of the country.

Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari won the vote and succeeds President Goodluck Jonathan on May 29.

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