The United Nation’s Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD has disclosed that despite its challenges, Nigeria remains the number one recipient of foreign direct investment, FDI in Africa for the second year running.
This is as President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday also declared that despite Nigeria’s challenges, it is progressively marching towards her goal of becoming one of the 20 biggest economies of the world.
The President stated this while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 16th Honorary International Investor Council HIIC, meeting at the Banquette Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Jonathan who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, stated that “our determination to ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the world’s 20 most industrialized nation is growing ?stronger” adding that his administration has significantly improved on the nation’s investment climate.
“Let me reaffirm that our efforts under the transformation agenda are yielding impressive results. Today, Nigeria is one of the strongest economic performer in Africa. For the second year, the United Nation’s Conference on Trade and Development, has declared Nigeria as the number one recipient of foreign direct investment, FDI in Africa”
“Besides current security challenges, Nigeria’s position as the preferred destination for foreign direct investment in Africa has been maintained. Within the last two months, we have played hosts to several ?business delegations from all over the world including a Chinese delegation of 100 businessmen, 75 Kenyan businessmen, 18 Swiss investors and second largest business enterprise in China, a Fortune 500 company, which pledged to invest in our transmission and Power generating sector.”
“The visit by the U S Commerce Secretary, accompanied by a powerful delegation, the delegation from Pakistan and the team from Netherlands are also worthy of note”
Jonathan who took an introspective review of the nation’s economic performance, ??stated that he is very encouraged that measures put in place by this administration “is steadily contributing to the attainment of the broad objective of our administration’s transformation agenda”.
The President however added though challenges remain ” We must not relent in our efforts to sustain a predictable and stable policy environment. We would continue to eliminate as much as possible, distortions and privileges to create a sustainable level playing ground for all investors.
“In May this year, Nigeria hosted global leaders at the ?World Economic Forum on Africa. ?Besides the record attendance, prospective and size able additional investment into Nigerian economy were pledged. The Nigerian industrial revolution plan which was launched recently is expected to increase the size of our manufacturing sector from 4% of the GDP today to 10% of the GDP by the year, 2017”.
According to him the strategic industrial revolution plan, which was launched earlier in the year, focuses on 4 main areas of light manufacturing, Agro- businesses, Petro- chemicals and solid minerals and metals.
He added that this will help to develop the non oil sector, fast track our industrial development and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.
“In the agricultural sector, our reform efforts are producing substantial outcomes in the agricultural transformation agenda, ATA. Through the growth enhancement scheme, we have provided subsidized farming inputs to over 4 million farmers. Last year alone, over 250,000 farmers were engaged in producing 1.1 million metric tones of rice, during the dry season”
“Many young women across our country were also trained and provided with farming starter kits for fishery, snail keeping livestock etc. The recent GDP rebasing results revealed that the services industry constitute about 51 % of our GDP and employs many more Nigerians than we previously thought. We are therefore investing in the sector such as ICT and the creative industry to generate more of such jobs which will be key to making our recent economic record more inclusive”
He also disclosed that government is doing everything necessary to improve standards in the education sector where access and quality remain real challenges,
“We are improving the standard at both the states and federal levels and effecting teaching and infrastructure upgrade in our institutions.”
He further declared that this administration remains committed to ensuring security of the lives and property of Nigerians and all those that reside in this country.
“Our security forces are confronting terrorism and any insurgency that seeks undermine the security of the nation. We will remain unyielding and will continue to reinforce our defences ??so as to rid the country of terrorism and the forces of evil that threatens our peace and development”
“It is auspicious that this meeting is taking place at a crucial juncture in our journey towards nation building. Your deliberations and suggestions will remain invaluable to our drive for increase investment and our efforts to be globally competitive”
Commending the HIIC to the achievements of his administration, the President declared “We are better equipped to succeed as a people and as a country in our fight against corruption to improve and build our economy, develop our infrastructure and ensure the security of lives and property”
Baroness Lynda Chalka, of Wallasey, the Coordinator of the Honourary International Investors Council, HIIC, in her address, said the uninterrupted power supply and sound education policy remains the focus if sustainable and inclusive economic development in Nigeria, must be attained.
“Children who go to primary schools do not complete their education, that tells us a lot about the problems of this country. That is why we want to focus on education”
“We do know that Nigeria’s progress again depend on the gas reforms, the management of the transmission company of Nigeria, fuel supply to power plants, speedy implementation of renewable energy and progress plan for developing domestic gas utilization. Power and education are at the heart of what must be achieved” she said.