The history of foreign participation in Nigeria can be traced back to 1972 when the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree (NEPD) was enacted. This law provided that certain enterprises were exclusively reserved for Nigerians while others had to have at least 40% Nigerian ownership. In 1977, the status quo continued with certain enterprises requiring 100% Nigerian participation while others required 60% and 40% ownership by Nigerians respectively. During this era, there was the nationalization, expropriation or indigenisation of foreign companies in Nigeria. However, this led to capital flight as foreign investors left the country and started investing in neighboring countries with favourable legal regimes for foreign investments. In 1989, the law was revisited and provided for partial deregulation of foreign participation.

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