Abuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked Nigerians in the diaspora and other investors to make Nigeria their destination for investment.
He made the call while speaking at a business dinner he hosted in Davos, Switzerland, for some participants at the just concluded World Economic Foum(WEF)
Said he: ““There is no question at all as to why our country is a good destination.
“”We know that the critical issue is to ensure that the environment is friendly enough and that we offer the necessary incentives where such incentives are crucial.
“”We are ready to do that and we are ready to work with you to ensure that business is comfortable for you and that you can make profit and create the jobs and opportunities that we are also looking at.’’
The Vice President informed the guests that the administration had taken steps to address some specific issues in the business environment in partnership with the private sector.
He said it was the reason the administration created the industrial council.
“”We also have the business forum and would ensure that we are opened at all times.
“”It is important that we emphasise and keep emphasising that the partnership that we are trying to build is a genuine partnership.
““We understand that in a big country, especially a federation, many times we have issues, even with the state governments, and we have to be able to resolve them.
““Some of them are easy to resolve through a phone call, but we insist that those we do business with in Nigeria must find it easy to do business and that really has been the way that we have tried to function, especially in the last two and half years.
“”We intend to maintain that approach and we really would like you to join us in proving that this will work,’’ he said.
Osinbajo acknowledged that security was an on-going issue in the country adding that a lot was done to curtail it including insurgency in North East and militancy in the Niger Delta
“”In the country, people are doing business and are doing fine, but that’s not to say there are no herdsmen and farmer clashes and all that or to say that all is settled down in the North East.
““But by and large, we should raise (the issue of) adequate security. l think a lot of people are reasonably satisfied with the security, but we are doing all we can to improve on security.’’
He said government was creating joint task forces, sometimes involving the military, where it felt there might be trouble.
“”It’s possibly more important for us as sole business of government to ensure that people can walk around free and can do their business without looking over their shoulders.
““Because of our commitment to that, we are reasonably certain that we will achieve maximum security,’’ Osinbajo assured.
He told the gathering that a lot had also happened in respect of power supply, including reforms in the sector.
“We are creating an enabling a situation where industry or private sector and businesses can actually access power on their own without necessarily going through the DISCOs.
“”We have a willing-buyer-willing-seller arrangement. Recently NERC issued a declaration to that effect.
“”So we are concentrating also on powering industrial areas, a lot of that is going on and is private sector-driven.’’
Osinbajo recalled that a lot of states are now involved in power generation and expressed optimism that the situation would be much better.
“”A lot of the state governments are now investing in power plants. Off-grid power is one of the very critical solutions for us.
“”So we think that, in the next couple of years, we will have a power situation that will certainly be a lot better than what we are experiencing today,’’ he declared.
He also said the administration was committed to improving the transmission and distribution of power.
He thanked those who had already embraced the country’s business environment for their support over the years and urged them to maintain it. (NAN)