By PETER EGWUATU
Following the outcomes of the ongoing reforms by the Federal Government, Nigeria would continue its quest to become the leading investment destination in Africa through strategic policies and diversification of the economy, Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga has said.
Aganga, who spoke at the FBN Capital Investor Conference, last weekend, said diversifying the economy would enable the nation consolidate its position as Africa’s leading investment destination with an FDI of $8.9 billion which represents 16 per cent of Africa’s total FDI of $55 billion in 2011.
Aganga who was represented by Dr. Joseph Odumodu, Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said the government was committed to consolidating on the gains so far recorded by strengthening the one-stop investment centre of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission. “Our target is to achieve a 48-hr response for all investment linked enquiries,” he said.
Attributing the FDI growth to the growing investor confidence, Aganga noted that the creation of the Trade and Investment ministry by President Goodluck Jonathan had impacted on the country’s economic growth through its strategic trade and investment policies and programmes.
Commending FBN Capital for organising the conference, the minister said the nation had the potential to sustain its drive towards emerging as one of the world’s leading economies given the continuous cooperation of all stakeholders.
He said the government would step up activities geared towards promoting investment opportunities in Power, Food, Education, and Transportation sectors, adding that the administration would also move to stimulate investment in other sectors of the economy through diversification and stimulation of investment in the oil and gas downstream sector.
Flagging off the two-day conference at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Managing Director of FBN Capital, Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe said this initiative was a necessary follow-up to the maiden edition last year. The maiden edition of the investor conference focused on Nigeria’s aspiration journey to becoming a recongnised emerging market.
“We aim to move the conversation on to considering the enabling factors and practical actionable initiatives that can be taken to boost Nigerian growth. “Some of these micro economic areas are: capital market, agriculture/agro-allied, real estate, power and oil & gas” he said.