Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga
By Yemi Akinsuyi
The Federal Government has said that it is targeting $16 billion revenue from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria in 2013, to further create jobs and wealth for the nation’s teeming population.
Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 8th National Conference on Investment (NCI) in Abuja, disclosed that Nigeria had so far realised $8.9 billion from foreign investment.
Aganga explained that the amount represents 40 per cent increase from the 2010 achievement, and said government was determined to improve the country’s investment environment so that it could take its rightful position as a major player in the global economy.
He maintained that the present administration was not comfortable with the current investment competitiveness ranking of Nigeria, and called for synergy between the federal and state governments in order to improve the country’s investment environment for the benefit of all.
The minister informed that 12 states presently have the one-stop shop investment centres (OSIC) and promised that others, including Abuja, would have their own before the end of next year to ensure that the issue of doing business becomes easy in the country.
Aganga said the government had taken some measures to improve the country’s investment environment, including the setting up of Presidential Committee on Doing Business and Competitiveness, and the Committee on Investors’ Care, among others respectively.
In their goodwill messages, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and his Works counterpart, Mr. Mike Onolememen, pledged the collaboration of their ministries with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to further improve the nation’s economy.
Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, declared the conference closed, and said the present administration was determined to transform the economy, especially through the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). According to him, the future of the country is tied to the growth and development of SMEs so that more jobs and wealth would be created for the citizenry.
Anyim disclosed the government’s plan to put in place critical infrastructures like power, road, water and others to facilitate economic growth and improved living standards of the people.
The SGF, however, appealed to financial institutions to help the government in achieving this through provision of adequate funds, which he identified as one of the challenges facing the SMEs development in the country.
He pointed out that the government’s various reforms have been yielding positive results, and called for the continued public private partnership, PPP in order to fast-track the nation’s development.