Lynda Chalker and minister of trade and investment, Mr Segun Aganga
By Muhammad Bello in Abuja
The Federal Government has been warned that unless a decisive and swift action was taken to urgently wipe out terrorism and illegal oil bunkering in the country, it risks a disastrous negative effect in the economy in the long run though presently it was not deterring investment inflow.
Handing out the warning while responding to State House correspondents at the end of the 12th meeting of the Honorary international Investor Council (HIIC) at the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, its Coordinator, Baroness Linda Chalker said the perception of the investment climate in the country was got from reports in the local media.
The reports being churned out, almost on daily basis, she said was responsible for the dwindling foreign investment in the country, saying 75 per cent of the negative perceptions at the meeting were picked from the local media.
Chalker, flanked by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Information, LabaranMaku and the Executive Secretary /Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mr. Mustafa Bello, said it is mandatory for the apex government to anticipate checkmate, arrest and punish terrorists found guilty.
She noted that Insurgents were not keen on the progress of the country but added that their major pre-occupation was to “stalk government, disrupt economic activities and manipulate the media”, whose practitioners she admonished should not let themselves be willing tools of such group of people.
"If the stories that come out of Nigeria are negative, you are undermining your own country. If people hear that there are opportunities, they then start to think of how can I work on those opportunities and that is what we have to get the Diaspora in every nation to do for the people of Nigeria. Every embassy and every high commission of Nigeria has got to promote the opportunities in Nigeria, when they are overseas.
"I don't think Terrorism however worrying it is, has actually stopped any major investment yet. But if it is not dealt with and the bunkering of oil, if these things are not dealt with it will have a long term effect. And that is why listening to the President this morning, he said he will take specific actions to assist. Already he has a new National Security Adviser and new Minister of Defence. Their job is with the best of hope that can be given by the friends of Nigeria to stop these acts before they happen, to arrest the people, to punish through the courts, the people who are seeking to undermine your country.
“They are Nigerians, I don't think there are outsiders among them, they may get their armaments from outside but these are Nigerians. What are they trying to do, tear up the future for their children and their grand children? We have to encourage Nigerians to think about their future, their future generations, in their utterances", Chalker submitted.