From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged American investors to take advantage of the liberal trade and investment climate to do profitable businesses in Nigeria, insisting there was no going back on privatsation, assuring it will further improve the scheme’s moral architecture.
He threw the challenge at a business forum organised by the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Corporate Council on Africa, in Washington.
Buhari assured his audience that the privatisation exercise will still be in the nation’s aviation, telecommunication, energy, gas, solid mineral, health and infrastructural development.
“It is my intention to create the necessary environment for future investment in Nigeria. We are the most populous nation with largest market in Africa with vast human and natural resources and blessed with abundant young skilled workforce.
“We are therefore proud candidate to become the destination of choice for United States investments in Africa. I will work assiduously to welcome new investors to our country.
“I will like to remind you all that we are continuing in major privatisation programme with sectors ranging from telecommunication, energy, gas, solid minerals, aviation, health and infrastructural development but with improved moral architecture.
“We will also simplify visa procedures based on principle of reciprocity. May I, therefore, seize this opportunity to formally invite the American business community to take advantage of our liberal trade and investment climate to do profitable business in Nigeria,” the President stated.
Buhari also enjoined the business communities in the United States and Nigeria to take advantage of the excellent political relation between the two nations to expand trade and investment activities including joint venture projects in priority sectors of the economy especially power generation, gas, full value chain in agriculture, mining, health, tourism and other non-oil sectors of the economy.
Buhari said, “while I recognise the pivotal role of government in facilitating and promoting economic growth, the private sector must assume an increasing role as part of the engine of growth. “We will welcome genuine investors who are willing to come to Nigeria for solid minerals exploitation,” he said.
President Buhari used the occasion to assure that his administration would fulfill its campaign promises, which included creation of employment opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.
According to him, “generating employment was one of my key campaign promises. I will do my best to keep that promise.
“There is no other way to expand economic opportunities and create employment opportunities for millions of our youths than boosting domestic manufacturing, undertaking infrastructural development and industrialisation.
“Let me repeat, Nigeria will partner with genuine investors who are willing to join us to achieve our economic objective and at the same time realise handsome returns to recoup their investments.
“There is more to Nigeria than oil. This is why I will continue to stress the need for increased United States investments in our non-oil sector.
“In this respect, the present administration will be attentive to the needs of the business community and pursue policies that will strengthen the sectors to drive the growth.’’
President Buhari reassured that his administration would reduce waste in the management of the nation’s economy with focus on prudence, accountability, good governance and respect for the rule of law, strict compliance with and observance of contractual agreements.
He noted that Nigeria had enormous economic potentials that required heavy funding, which could not be sourced locally in Nigeria.
“In this regard, I want to use this platform to encourage United States foreign investment and funding agencies such as Oversea Investment Corporation and the United States Export-Import Bank to increase access to capital and funding of such businesses on favourable terms. Nigeria’s potentials are already being exploited,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa, Mr. Paul Hinks, expressed the readiness of American investors to do business with the new government in Nigeria.
Source : SunOnline