President Goodluck Jonathan
By Muhammad Bello in Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan will embark on a working visit to Switzerland and Ethiopia today with engagements in Geneva and Davos devoted to drawing the attention of the international business finance community to Nigeria’s immense investment potential.
It was also gathered that President Jonathan would at a meeting with the Eminent Persons Group on Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda in Geneva tomorrow lead the drive to attract greater foreign expertise and capital to boost the Federal Government’s efforts to rapidly modernise and positively transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
A statement signed by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, said members of the group include Microsoft Founder, Mr. Bill Gates; former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kofi Annan; President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Kanayo Nwanze; President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr. Donald Kaberuka; and Chairman of the Del Monte Produce Group, Mr. Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh.
The statement also stated that the president would at a special session of the annual meeting of the world’s leading businessmen and industrialists at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Wednesday also promote new incentives for investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector targeted at attracting greater international support for the establishment of a much more successful and profitable agro-allied industry in the country.
The statement added: “The session will also focus on ongoing policy and institutional reforms in the sector, the establishment of staple crop processing zones and medium to long term financing options for agriculture in Nigeria.
“On Thursday, President Jonathan, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Adewunmi Adesina; Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is scheduled to host a private session with representatives of leading multinational companies under the auspices of the Business Interactive Group on Nigeria.
“He will also seize the opportunity of his participation in special sessions of the World Economic Forum titled ‘De-Risking Africa’ and ‘Africa’s Promise’ to draw fresh global attention to the great opportunities which ongoing reforms, deregulation, privatisation and commercialisation of former public sector monopolies have opened up for willing investors in key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as oil and gas, power supply, communications, transportation and agriculture.”
Abati said Jonathan will also meet privately with the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Norway, President of Costa Rica and the chief executives of Huawei Technologies Company, Total and Coca-Cola Worldwide on the sidelines of WEF.
“He is expected to leave Switzerland on Friday for the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa where he will confer with other African leaders on action to resolve the boundary dispute between Sudan and South Sudan as well as fresh and ongoing initiatives to restore peace, security, political stability and normalcy to Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.