November 10, 2021

I’ve revitalised economy, built infrastructure, uplifted Nigerians’ living standards – Buhari tells French business community

Muhammadu Buhari

… Says Nigeria is on the right path to achieving multi-sectoral progress.

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that Nigeria is on the right path to achieving multi-sectoral progress, saying he has revitalised Nigeria’s economy, built massive infrastructure, uplifted the living standards of Nigerians.

The President gave the assurance on Wednesday in Paris at the Nigeria International Partnership Forum (NIPF), a high-level event on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.

Reports that the one-day event is organised to bring together the Nigerian and French governments and private sectors in wide-ranging discussions focused on security, regional stability, trade and industrialisation.

The event is also to attract investment to Nigeria, bridge existing infrastructure gaps, spotlight Nigeria’s immense trade and investment opportunities and reset false and distorted narratives about the country.

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The president said the administration had revitalised the economy by increasing investments in capacity building, health, infrastructure, women’s empowerment, climate change and food security.

“Today, these actions are yielding self-employment, expanding our human resource pool and strengthening our national productivity for sustainable development.

“Recognising the importance of security to a nation’s risk profile, we re-assessed and updated our National Security Strategy in 2019.

“The implementation of this multi-sectoral strategy has contributed to the progress we have made in fighting insurgents and terrorists in the North East of the country.

“Working closely with international partners, we are firmly addressing the root causes of crimes, and taking measures to prevent and counter violent extremism,” the president said

He said the administration had incorporated the Public-Private Partnership model into the economic recovery plan, to attract private sector participation in the financing and operations of critical economic and social infrastructure.

He said the measure was already helping to mitigate COVID-19 triggered capital flight and decline in grant and development financing.

Buhari said his government was executing massive infrastructure expansion programmes in various sectors since the beginning of this administration to uplift the living standards of Nigerians.

“1.5 trillion Dollars is the cumulative amount estimated to be spent within a period of ten years from 2015.

“So far, we have made significant investments in railways, seaports, roads, renewable energy, housing, and many others attractive to prospective investors.

“Institutions such as the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and the recently created Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria, run as independent world-class institutions to support and facilitate investments in the country,” he said.

The president said the ultimate goal of the administration was to leverage ICT platforms to spur further investments and create jobs while diversifying support to other emerging sectors.

He said the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act in the Oil and Gas sector would liberalise the industry, introduce incentives such as tax holidays, zero-interest loans, and easy repatriation of profits.

He added that the plan was to increase Liquefied Natural Gas exports and expand the nation’s domestic market.

The president also urged participants at the event to explore investment in textile and leather processing, tourism, agriculture and health sectors.

He reiterated the government’s resolve to reduce and ultimately eliminate obstacles to access and retention of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and ensure statutory backed investment-friendly policies.

The president said the France-Nigeria bilateral relations were currently at their best.

He said the administration had capitalised on the strong political and economic ties between both countries to deepen trade relations, retaining Nigeria as France’s biggest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Let me finally stress that Nigeria is open for partnership and cooperation.

” I invite the French business community to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in Africa’s largest economy.

“As our development partners, rest assured that we will stand together with you throughout our partnership journey to guarantee our mutual interest,” he said.

Reports have it that no fewer than 12 ministers participated at the event, while the Nigeria’s private sector was led by the President of the Nigeria-France Business Council,  Abdulsamad Rabi’u.

Vanguard News Nigeria