By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA—Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over the weekend said the Federal Government will tackle the worsening poverty in the country through developmental financing and creation of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, at the opening ceremony of the 2017 CEO Forum of African DFIs in Abuja said that Nigeria planned to expand its business around the world.
He also revealed that the Federal Government intended to make Nigeria a peaceful place and a choice business destination in the world.
Osinbajo said: “Development finance needs to play a vital role to bring Nigerians out of poverty by providing an enabling environment. Our ambition is to make Nigeria one of the most peaceful places to make business in the world.’’
In his remarks, representative for South Africa, Dumisani Msibi, said the vice president’s declaration was a huge call for all players and stakeholders.
“It becomes important that we look at achieving delivery of effective development on the continent as a collective.
“There is no one country, institution that can achieve this enormous challenge that we are faced with; of ending poverty, of putting in place infrastructure, of feeding our people, of creating jobs, of industrialization.
“One of the things that we promote is cross-border trade, cross-border collaboration.
‘’Take for instance infrastructure, they are there, and are working with different countries to come together to enable trade.
‘’That is why at Goldberg, it becomes important to do this as a collective and we look at the synergies among and between countries so that development will be faster.
“The DFI in most of the countries are owned by government, therefore, Nigeria can learn from other African countries like South Africa, Ghana etc on what we are doing, for us to come together to see how we can better move this continent forward.
‘’For the DFIs, can we contribute to the development of the continent? How can we ensure that we help to generate more jobs? How do you help those who are in need? So there are many things that we want,” Msibi said.
Speaking at the forum, Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, explained the challenges faced by countries, stressing that much of it revolved around infrastructure financing.
He said: “The challenge in all the countries now is how do you get financing for those who require it and at a cost? We all know in Nigeria today, the average cost of borrowing money, the lending rate sometimes is between 20 and 30 percent, depending on what you are asking for.