President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria has very attractive investment opportunities with some of the highest “Returns-on-Investment’’.
According to Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, President Buhari said this in a statement at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), in Yokohama, Japan on Thursday.
The President said he looked forward to prospective investors making inroads “in the following priority sectors in Nigeria, namely, power and renewable energy, petrochemical and gas, maritime (shipping and ports), automobiles, mining, agribusiness, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, ICT and railway.”
President Buhari, who presented Nigeria’s Statement at Plenary Session Three on “Public-Private Business Dialogue” at the seventh TICAD7, assured potential investors of good returns as a result of ongoing reform measures taken by his administration.
He said: “I have also established a Presidential Committee on Enabling Business Environment, which is made up of key Ministries and prominent businessmen to promote the Ease of Doing Business and make Nigeria more attractive and competitive for investment.
“Nigeria is committed to removing all impediments to private sector participation in these sectors by creating policies that will ensure consistency, predictability and a level playing field for all.’’
He identified power, transportation, infrastructure, maritime/shipping, agro-processing, mining, manufacturing, petro-chemicals, food processing and textiles among others, as “key drivers to the diversification” of the Nigerian economy as well as “priority areas that will drive our Economic Agenda.”
The President, therefore, maintained that he looked forward to “welcoming prospective investors to Nigeria.”
While reviewing Nigeria-Japan relations, President Buhari commended existing bonds of friendship and economic cooperation between both countries.
He described Japan as “a strategic partner for our socio-economic development.”
The President disclosed Nigeria’s intention to “further encourage relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders” in both nations.
The Nigerian leader expressed particular delight with the level of “discussions on the establishment of the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council, an initiative of the Japanese government, which would be launched on our return to Nigeria.
“I look forward to positive reports of increased trade and investment between Nigeria and Japan from these initiatives.”
He described the TICAD Forum as important to Nigeria in many respects, saying that it “coincides with the period when the country is faced with a number of challenges that affect our economy.”
According to him, his administration has put in place measures seeking to diversify the economy by developing agriculture, emphasising on manufacturing and addressing the energy and infrastructure deficit.
He expressed confidence that, “With these we shall be placing Nigeria on the path of rapid growth and sustainable development.”
The Nigerian leader also noted that “TICAD is also coming at a time when our government is implementing home-grown and private sector-driven economic measures that are predicated on good governance, infrastructure and human capital development as well as, business climate reform.”
The above domestic measures, he explained, informed his invitation to “the private sector to come and invest in Nigeria.”
The President said: “Nigeria and indeed Africa, expect much from this Forum in terms of investment, considering the role of Foreign Direct Investment in all economies – developed and developing.’’
President Buhari also expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, “for his unwavering commitment to strengthen trade and investment between Japan and Africa through various initiatives, partnership and support of the Japanese Government.”
He also wished TICAD7 “fruitful deliberations and hope that the conclusions reached would enhance access by African countries to international capital investment as well as boost Japan–Africa exchanges by developing new and strategic public and private sector alliances.’’
Amaka E. Nliam