President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Paris, France, said outlook on the Nigerian economy remains bright, with sustained investments in infrastructure, particularly ICT, that favour global businesses and a friendly regulatory environment that supports Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
In a keynote remark at the Nigeria International Partnership Forum, with focus on “Beyond the Pandemic’’, President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the Nigerian economy is being re-engineered and re-positioned to be globally more competitive, favouring business and entrepreneurship to drive growth and development.
“For us in Nigeria, lessons drawn from the pandemic prompted us to redouble efforts to mitigate its socio-economic effects. Despite prevailing uncertainties, our equitable and sustainable reform initiatives resulted in substantial economic gains and steady recovery.
“I can assure you that our administration is on the right path to achieving multi-sectoral progress. We have revitalized the economy by increasing investments in capacity building, health, infrastructure, women’s empowerment, climate change, and food security.
“Today, these actions are yielding self-employment, expanding our human resource pool and strengthening our national productivity for sustainable development.
“I am proud to reiterate our resolve to reduce and ultimately eliminate obstacles to access and retention of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Our investment-friendly policies are backed by the rule of law, practical security policies and a resilient population,” he said.
The president told a gathering of French and Nigerian businessmen that the government recognized the nation’s risk profile and decided to re-assess and update the National Security Strategy in 2019.
“The implementation of this multi-sectoral strategy has contributed to the progress we have made in fighting insurgents and terrorists in the North East of the country. Working closely with international partners, we are firmly addressing the root causes of crimes, and taking measures to prevent and counter violent extremism,’’ he said.
President Buhari said opportunities in the mining sector had been expanded, with a simplified licensing process, extensive investments in transportation of raw materials, equipment and other mining elements by road and by rail.
“To keep the progress in the digital economy, the fastest growing sector in Nigeria in both 2020 and 2021 on track, we recently approved the national policy on Fifth Generation (5G) networks.
“Our ultimate goal is to leverage ICT platforms to spur further investments and create jobs, while diversifying support to other emerging sectors. Already, several foreign investors are taking advantage of our recent ranking as the leading start-up ecosystem in Africa.
Meanwhile, Buhari has appreciated the efforts of his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in expanding opportunities for business between Nigerians and French citizens, while committing to partnership to degrade international criminal networks.
Speaking at a working lunch at Palais Elysee, President Buhari in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina said the visit of President Macron to Nigeria in 2018 had yielded fruits in renewed interest for entrepreneurship beyond local borders, with more businesses expanding their reach and scope in France, particularly with establishment of French-Nigeria Investment Club.
“On the business front, we welcome the personal efforts of President Macron to strengthen ties between Nigerian and French corporations. It was during your visit to Lagos in 2018 that the French Nigeria Investment Club was established.
“You were also instrumental to the establishment of the France-Nigeria Business Council more recently in June 2021. These efforts have brought together some of the largest corporations in Nigeria and France and the stage is set for expanded engagement by entrepreneurs in both countries,” he said.
The President affirmed that the French government continues to share the vision of promoting stronger ties in health, education and security.