By Michael Eboh
President of Rwanda, Mr. Paul Kagame, has called on Nigerian businessmen to take advantage of the enormous investment opportunities in Rwanda.
This was even as the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, called for an urgent development of local capacity for food production in Nigeria, to guide against shocks in the global economy.
Kagame, who was speaking in Rwanda, when the NESG led a 15-man delegation on a five day business trip to the East–African country, said Nigerian business men should exploit the significant opportunities which exist for intra-African trade and commerce and consider investing in the country’s energy, agriculture, aviation, information and Communication Technology, railways and education sectors.
He condemned the ‘victim-mentality’ which had characterised the relationship between Africa and the West and emphasized that African countries and her peoples alone have the power to change the fortune of the continent.
Mr. Frank Nweke Jr., Director General, NESG, who led the delegation with the Chairman, Mr. Foluso Philips, said Rwanda’s phenomenal progress was undoubtedly underpinned by President Kagame’s visionary leadership and the very young and dynamic team of bureaucrats who manage Rwanda’s public service.
Also speaking, Philips commended Rwanda’s remarkable progress in reconciling her citizens after the tragic genocide of 1994.
He also praised he steady transformation of the country’s business environment into one of the most competitive economies in which to do business on the African continent.
On the need to boost Nigeria’s local food production capacity, Nweke said the global economic recession and recent adverse global weather conditions in regions from which Nigeria has traditionally imported staples such as rice, as brought to the fore the need for Nigeria to attain self-sufficiency in food production.
Nweke made this comment at a one-day agribusiness investment meeting tagged: ‘Nigeria-focused Agribusiness Forum’, a prelude to Nigeria’s participation at the US-Africa Agribusiness Forum which is taking place in Washington D.C from April 10th to 11th, 2012.
He said the efforts of the NESG in promoting investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector is in consideration of its important contribution (42% of GDP) to our national economy and its potential to become a leading source of foreign exchange and employment generation.
Also speaking, Dr. Emmanuel Ijewere, Chairman, NESG’s Agriculture and Food Security Policy commission, stressed the importance of Nigeria weaning itself off food importation.