Nigeria wraps up summit to woo foreign investors


ABUJA, May 23 (Xinhua) — Nigeria on Wednesday rounded off an investors’ summit aimed at attracting long-term investment into some key sectors of the economy.

The Nigerian government said it was working to ensure that investors made high returns when the maiden edition of the Direct Investors’ Summit Nigeria opened Tuesday in the capital city of Abuja.

Nearly 200 global investors from 14 countries and four continents attended the summit organized by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission.

Themed “Investment meets opportunities,” the summit showcased about 100 investment-ready projects or opportunities in seven sectors for match-making to both foreign and domestic investors.

The Nigerian government said it aimed to attract long-term investments into agriculture, transport, manufacturing and processing, power, gas, and information technology.

Speaking at the opening session, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the country’s investment opportunities were premised on a number of strategic endowments, including its population that is Africa’s largest.

According to the deputy Nigerian leader, since emerging from a terrible economic recession, the west African country is determined, more than ever, to make up for lost time and missed opportunities.

“We have implemented a series of national action plans and targeted interventions aimed at dismantling the civic bottlenecks around business and property registration, access to finance, payment of taxes, import and export of goods entry into and exit from Nigeria and so on,” he said.

Between January 2017 and March 2018, Nigeria recorded a total investment commitment of 83 billion U.S. dollars, according to official data.

These investment commitments were secured in three key sectors of the economy, namely oil and gas, manufacturing and real estate.

The government said it is seeking to translate the 83 billion dollars investment commitment into actual investments.

Gan Lijun, a Chinese investor at the summit, said his company, Avik International Holding Corporation, was interested in investing in aviation, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and construction sectors in Nigeria.

“As we know, Nigeria has the biggest population in Africa. It is a big market for all business opportunities,” Gan said.

The Chinese investor said his company, which is into manufacturing of aircraft among others, was working to assist Nigeria with the establishment and maintenance of its national carrier.

Some summiteers opined that the lack of power infrastructure and security may affect the value of the business opportunities and also influence the investors.

The country’s focus on agriculture had attracted billions of dollars in investments in the last three years in rice mills, sugar plantations, fertilizer blending plants, among others, according to government data.

Nigeria’s foreign reserves are now almost 50 billion dollars.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.