By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reiterated that Nigeria remained the best and most attractive investment destination in Africa.
The President disclosed this at a meeting with a Qatari business delegation led by former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani at the State House, Abuja.
He welcomed the rise in foreign private investments in the country.
President Buhari described Federal Government’s economic agenda as one designed to move the country from over-reliance on crude oil and food importation to increased domestic production.
He added that the policy had in the past two years turned Nigeria into one of the most attractive investment destinations in Africa.
He said “our administration’s main economic agenda is to move away from over-reliance on crude oil and food importation.
“Nigeria is a blessed country. We have fertile land. We have young and energetic population. And we have a very strong legal and regulatory system that protects capital and investments, both local and foreign.
“As you are aware, Nigeria just exited its worst recession in more than two decades. We have more than doubled our foreign reserves.”
The President noted that his administration was winning the war against corruption, and developing the nation’s infrastructure, as well as enforcing the rule of law.
He said: “as a result of this, we are seeing significant growth in the non-oil sector which is creating thousands of jobs across the country.”
He cited the current strategic partnership between Moroccan and Nigerian fertilizer companies as part of the success stories.
He said “`today, due to this alliance, Nigeria has over 13 functioning fertilizer blending plants with another four in the pipeline. This is purely driven by private sector.
“In 2017 alone, we saw significant commitments and agreements by major global organisations in infrastructure projects such as the proposed nine billion dollars Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Lagos.
“Also, there was the completed 600 million dollars Lafarge Plant in Calabar; the proposed rail stock; the proposed 1.3 billion dollars public private partnership with General Electric on Rail Track Development and the proposed ENI/Agip rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery.”
He noted that “these were clear indications that foreign private companies were coming back to Nigeria and making massive investments within the nation’s existing legal and regulatory framework.”
In his remarks, Sheikh Al-Thani said the global opinion on Nigeria as an investment destination had been boosted by President Buhari’s strong standing against corruption and adherence to the rule of law.
He expressed his delegation’s interest in investing in Nigeria’s oil, railway, aviation and power sectors.
The former Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassin Bin Baber Althani, was also part of the Qatari business delegation in the country. (NAN)