BY GODFREY BIVBERE, in Washington
Northern governors’ were set to woo visiting American investors to the forthcoming World Economic Conference that will be holding in Abuja this week.
Disclosing this in Washington, the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, USA, Ade Adefuye, said that the northern governors requested a meeting with the visiting American delegation.
Adefuye explained that already, the response from the investors has been very positive.
In his words, “After the conference, we are having a meeting with northern governors. They want to see the American investors many companies have registered to be at that meeting too.”
On the security situation in the northern part of the country as it affects investment, Adefuye noted that “the embassy has succeeded in letting Americans know that first the security concern is not around the whole of the northern states. Until recently when the attack got to Nyanya, the security concern was in only three states out of 36 and every country has its own challenges.”
He referred to the problem that occurred during a marathon race in Boston and the problem in Northern Ireland in Britain which took a long time, adding that these did not stop investment in these countries.
The Nigerian ambassador noted must American investors are still regretting not taking part in the privatization of the telecommunication sector years back because of the problem in the Niger Delta then.
“American did not participate in the privatization of the telecommunication sector and they are regretting now. Agricultural investment is twice more than that in the telecommunication sector.
“When we privatized the telecommunication sector because of the negative images by enemies of Nigeria about the events in the Niger Delta and the lack of electricity etc, many Americans did not come to invest. They are regretting now because those who invested, especially Europeans and South Africans, said they have never gained such returns in such a short term.
“Everywhere in the world, we will keep telling them of the possible profit from investment in agricultural infrastructure and other areas of the economy are twice that of what you can gain in the telecommunication sector.
“You simply cannot beat the Nigerian market inspite of all the problems we are having, electricity power and Boko Haram. You cannot beat our market; the size of our market is such that the returns can only be imagined.
“Despite Boko Haram, the list of those coming for the World Economic Conference in our office can only be imagined, they are in their 100’s. There is something about Nigeria that makes it an investment destination,” he concluded.