Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari insists that Nigeria remains the best destination for US investors to put their money.
According to the President, regardless of the population advantage in terms of size and demography, the various incentives and policies put in place by the Nigerian government make it a preferred destination for investment.
He speaks Friday in Washington, D.C. at the US-Nigeria Business and Investment Forum, a business roundtable jointly organized by the Council of America in Africa (CCA) and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on the sidelines of US-Africa leaders. President Buhari explained at the summit that Nigeria as the most populous country and largest economy in Africa, remains Africa’s largest single consumer market, and is expected to account for more than 15% of the total growth in Africa’s spending, by 2025.
He said, “Investors in the country will be able to access new markets within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), which will be the largest free trade area in the world, and is expected to reach 1.3 billion people across 55 countries and consumers. It will be worth more than $3 trillion. dollars by 2030, and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.”
According to him, “Since 2015, when my administration took office, the infrastructure gaps needed for business to thrive in Nigeria have been repaired, viz.; roads, railways, air and sea ports, energy and telecommunications have formed greater priorities for the government. Linked to these conscious and pragmatic efforts is our administration’s determination to improve the business environment Through business incentives, regulatory reforms and a business-friendly visa system.
“The result of huge efforts and investments by our management in infrastructure development and renewal, such as road construction and rehabilitation, investment tax credit policy, has led to the reconstruction of 21 selected federal roads, with a total of 1,804.6 kilometers. With regard to railways, sea and air ports as well as energy, Which is expected to facilitate the movement of people, goods and services as well as maintain the stability and growth of industries respectively.”
President Buhari stressed that despite the global challenges caused by the Coronavirus and the war in Ukraine, the Nigerian economy continued to record impressive growth in many sectors:
On the economic front, Nigeria, like other countries, including developed economies, is facing economic challenges stemming from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Ukraine and climate change, of which massive floods are one of the manifestations. Despite these global challenges, Nigeria has witnessed seven consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020. Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.54% year-on-year in real terms in the second quarter of 2022, which represents A sustained positive economic performance, especially for the non-oil GDP, which declined by 4.77% in the second quarter of 2022 against the oil GDP, which grew by -11.77%.
Statistics still indicate that most sectors of our economy recorded positive growth despite these challenges, which reflects the effective implementation of the economic sustainability measures introduced by our management. In order for our economy to respond positively to global digitization, Nigeria has embraced communication and the digital economy. Already, broadband coverage in the country stands at 44.32% and 77.52%. Fourth generation coverage has also been achieved, with the establishment of 36,751 fourth generation base stations nationwide.”
The President further stressed his administration’s continued efforts to reverse the rampant insecurity he had inherited especially in the Northeast, and commended the United States government for the support it has provided in this aspect.
His words: When our administration came to power in 2015, most of northeastern Nigeria was under the control of the terrorist group Boko Haram. Governance and socio-economic activities have come to a halt. This occurrence has been reversed today. The IDPs are returning to their ancestral areas of origin, which have been reconstructed through the efforts of the Borno State Government and some charitable individuals, to resume their lives in relative peace. As a country and a sub-region, we continue to make sustainable investments and efforts to enhance our national and sub-regional security.
In such circumstances, Nigeria continues to value strong partnerships with friends and allies in our national, continental and global efforts for safety and survival. We thank the United States of America for its partnership and as an ally, which has made it possible to acquire arms, weapons and other military equipment, which has aided Nigeria in its efforts to contain the scourge of terrorism and maritime insecurity,” the President said.
He also spoke about his administration’s plans to ensure that the energy supply problem is addressed in the near future.
“In striving to develop our energy, Nigeria remains cognizant of its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060. In this regard, our management launched the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) in September 2022 with the aim of meeting national energy needs, in line with Nigeria’s net zero goal. The transformation plan is in Energy is a home-grown, data-supported, multi-pronged strategy developed in order to achieve net emission reduction across five major sectors; Energy, Cooking, Oil & Gas, Transportation and Industry. Thus, the Energy Transition Plan (ETP) is a huge investment opportunity in the gas sector.”
Earlier in his remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adenyi Adebayo, stressed that Nigeria is politically stable and ready for more investments, saying that the trend will continue because President Buhari has made ongoing electoral reforms, giving way to free elections. Fair and transparent elections.
Also speaking, CCA President Ms. Fleury Lesser said the organization has been around since 1993 to advance trade and investment relations between the United States and Africa.
According to her, “CCA members, partners and investors who are doing great business in Nigeria and have a strong interest in closing their operations there are gathered here.”
She added that the organization had the honor of hosting former presidents, governors, ministers and many leaders of the private sector to consolidate trade relations and facilitate investments between the United States and Nigeria for the benefit of the Nigerian and American people. Nigeria was described as a priority country in the CCA.
Digi Elumwe in Abuja