The United States Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker, Wednesday, gave conditions that would motivate more American companies to invest in Nigeria.
Pritzker, who spoke to a group of business leaders in Lagos, urged the Federal Government to urgently involve Nigeria’s business community and civil society in the fight against corruption.
The US official said the American companies would invest in countries that observed rule of law, maintained ethical standards and promoted workplace safety and encouraged training.
”For U.S. businesses to come here, stay here and help you achieve your full potential, Nigeria needs to take the tough steps that allow businesses to truly thrive.
“Our companies want to do business in countries that follow the rule of law, maintain ethical standards, abide by workplace safety, encourage workforce training and protect intellectual property.
Businesses must have the conditions to operate free from unnecessary regulation, government interference and corruption. These are the conditions that will increase confidence among international and local business leaders and encourage further investment in Nigeria.’’
Pritzker also encouraged the Nigerian Government to implement its public procurement laws according to international best practices.
The secretary also advised the government to sign the World Trade Organisation’s Government Procurement Agreement. Pritzker urged the Nigerian Government, business and civil society leaders to close ranks in developing solutions to challenges facing the investment environment.
“I believe that together we can, must, and will move toward strengthening our security, promote democracy, spur more trade, investment and economic opportunity to benefit Nigerian citizens,’’ she said.
Mr Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, who spoke on behalf of other business leaders, described the visit as not only important but also strategic. Elumelu said that Pritzker’s visit would strengthen the existing U.S. and Nigeria commercial ties.
The industrialist said that the growing of Nigeria’s economy would reduce poverty, create jobs as well as check terrorist activities in the country. “We need investors, partners and technical expertise to develop our supply chains, infrastructure and workforce skills. American firms and entrepreneurs can help us accomplish and gain significant value for themselves,’’ he said.