The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday in New York, told foreign investors that Nigeria’s economy is ripe for increased investment.
This was as he lamented the reduced private capital inflows, especially Foreign Direct Investment for infrastructure and natural resource access projects.
“Overall, the Nigerian economy is ripe for increased investment. But on the contrary, private capital flows into Nigeria, consisting mainly of Foreign Direct Investment, have slowed, hindering the financing of much-needed infrastructure,” Buhari said at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly.
This is according to a statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President, Femi Adesina, titled ‘In New York, President Buhari says investment in security yielding good dividends, woos more investors to Nigeria.’
Buhari, who acknowledged security to be a critical element for investment inflow, pledged that his government would do more to improve security.
He also lauded the Nigeria military for making significant progress in the fight against insecurity and building momentum in reducing challenges to its barest minimum.
“We will continue to give all necessary support to our security outfits to ensure that they are able to tackle the challenge headlong”, he said, stressing that ”the advantages and disadvantages of investing in Nigeria far outweigh the challenges.”
Buhari, who was represented at the opening session by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, also declared that in spite of the global crisis fuelled by the Ukraine-Russian war, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and insurgency in some parts of the country, Nigeria is on course to take her rightful place in the global economy.
He noted that the quarterly GDP growth in Q1 2022 has been mostly driven by the non-oil sector, giving credence to the revenue source diversification agenda of his regime.
“The agricultural sector, our most important, has remained resilient in spite of security concerns, low irrigation, limited inputs, and legacy infrastructure challenges, with strong food demand bolstering growth. Growth in manufacturing reflected stronger household and business consumption on account of the reopening of economic activities and improvement in supply chains.
“The present growth in our service sector is promising. Further privatization, foreign investment, globalization and competition will serve to stimulate growth and competition in the service sector and the economy as a whole,” Buhari noted.
On the domestic front, he argued that the Federal Government is taking some bold, decisive and urgent action to address revenue underperformance, and improve Nigeria’s operations to make it an investment-friendly destination.
According to him, the Integrated National Financing Strategy remains the government’s key pathway to improving infrastructure financing, with the private sector playing a significant role.
On Nigeria’s National Development Plan (2021 – 2025), the President stated that it was formulated against the backdrop of several subsisting development challenges in the country and the need to tackle them within the framework of medium and long-term plans.
“This all-encompassing plan aims to generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025, thus setting the stage for achieving the government’s commitment of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” Buhari said.
He noted that Nigeria would require an investment commitment of about N348tn even as government capital expenditure during the period will be N49.7tn (14.3 per cent) while the balance of N298.3tn (85.7 per cent) is expected from the Private Sector.
Of the 14.3 per cent government contribution, FG’s capital expenditure will be N29.6tn (8.5 per cent) while state and local government’s capital expenditure is estimated at N20.1tn (5.8 per cent).
“The successful implementation of this Plan will, therefore, be heavily dependent on strong partnerships between the private and public sector, both within and with Development Partners outside Nigeria,” Buhari concluded.
The President also noted that his regime recognises power as a major catalyst for Nigeria’s industrialisation, adding that in July 2021, the 614-kilometer Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project was launched to enhance energy security.
Wishing the forum successful deliberations, Buhari assured them that the Federal Government of Nigeria will consider the outcome of the deliberations and recommendations.