The Federal Government has urged the Honourary International Investor Council, (HIIC) to support Nigeria to build investor confidence in the country.
This charge was made Tuesday by Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, during the 10th meeting of the Council, at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja .
He decried the situation where European Union countries do not guarantee companies that are doing business in Nigeria . He cited the United Kingdom , which gives guarantees to companies in Ghana and other countries but not to those in Nigeria .
He therefore urged the members “to support and partner with government to build investor confidence in the country.” He stressed that there are huge opportunities for investment in all sectors in Nigeria , adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria has made available N500 billion at single digit interest rate.
Arc. Sambo stated government’s commitment to ensuring an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Nigeria . He said government has made deliberate policies to ensure that these objectives are met.
In this light he posited that government has put in place a new gas pricing policy to further bolster investor interest in the oil and gas sector and added that to ensure adequate security, machinery had been put in place to reform the Nigeria police.
Vice President Sambo said “to meet the huge financial requirements for infrastructural development, government is looking at various ways to organise and stratify funding for projects in its quest to achieve the laudable goals contained in the Vision 20:2020 programme.”
He said such ways include concessional funds, from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the African Development Bank (ADB), the Yen Credit facility, among several others. He said other ways include through Public Private Partnerships and bilateral funding.
VP Sambo stated that government needs the cooperation and support of the private sector to meet the developmental challenges of the country. He added that areas that need urgent intervention include, power, such as the hydro power projects in Zungeru and Mambilla, and development of Coal power plants; transportation; housing and urban development, construction of multipurpose dams, agriculture, port expansion, road and railways construction, water ways and access to financing for the private sector.
In her remarks the Chairperson of the HIIC, Baroness Lynda Chalker, said that the Council has a good opportunity to take a number of key issues forward. She further said that the Council had noticed a very significant change in Nigeria , which is for the better, adding that they have seen a big leap forward. Baroness Chalker used the occasion to assure of their commitment to improving investor confidence on Nigeria .
The meeting saw presentations from the Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Sheik Ahmed Abdullahi on driving investments into agriculture; the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega on the Challenges and Prospects of Electoral Reform Process in Nigeria and; the Government of Borno State, on driving investment to Nigerian States.
HIIC members present include, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Sam Jonah, Emmanuel Ijewere, Dr. Umaru Mutalab, Neil Harvey, Guillaume Roux, Ronnie Ntuli, Simon Harford and Pietro Franco Tali.
Others at the occasion include the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Amina Al-Zubair, and the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Mustapha Bello among others.