Vice President Namadi Sambo
Ashiru: Ambassadors now foot soldiers for direct investment
Chuks Okocha in Toronto, Canada
Foreign Direct Investment talks top the centre stage Thursday between Nigeria and the Canadian investors with the Vice President Namadi Mohammed Sambo leading twelve governors and ministers to seek woo investors to Nigeria, which has also resulted in the signing of economic promotion agreement between Nigeria and Canada.
This was the hallmark of the Canada Nigeria Investment Conference attending by leading Nigerian and Canadian investors.
Vice President Sambo who led the Nigeria’s delegation to the conference said at the opening speech assured the Canadian businessmen and investors that the issue of insecurity in the country would be a thing of the past, as the federal government would ensure soon that terrorism and other violent crimes are a thing of the past.
He also informed the Canadian investors that their economy remains the best to do business in the entire G 20 economies of the world and that the trade relations between the two countries have grown from $ 700 million in 2007 to more $3 billion in 2012, explaining that it was for this reason that both countries agreed to sign the Nigeria-Canada Trade Promotion Agreement which was signed Wednesday in Ottawa Canada.
According to Vice President Sambo, the signing of the trade promotion deal is in line with the Bi- National Commission that was signed between Nigeria and Canada on April 23 2013. Sambo told the Canadian investors that the oil reserve of Nigeria currently stands at over 28.2 billion cubic barrels, while the gas reserve stands at 165 trillion cubic metres.
He said that Nigeria will ensure quick transfer of profits, naturalization of investors that seek to become citizens of Nigeria and that there would be no restriction of profits and as well as ensure visa grants at the point of entry.
In his submission at the venue, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga told the Canadian Government to emulate the United States Government that set aside $13.5 billion grants for its investors that are willing to invest in Nigeria. The Minister who said that Nigeria remains the best country for investment said that in the nearest future that Nigeria, China and India would become the best country for investment, explaining that at the moment that the Nigeria economy is growing at more than 7 percent in the last 14 years.
The Minister explained that in the ability of the federal government to fight corruption and ensure free electoral system, that over N90 billion was spent in 2011 to ensure a free and transparent election because free and fair elections remains one of the basic ways to guarantee a free and fair election. He equally said that as part of the transformation agenda of the federal government that there is freedom of speech in Nigeria with the Freedom of Information Action signed in 2011. He said that the government is gradually ensuring a total judiciary reforms.
According to the Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsdeen Usman, Nigeria have GDP of $900 billion and $4000 national minimum income by 2020, urging the Canadian investors “to ignore stories they hear about Nigeria, as they are not true of what is on the ground”.
In his comment at the occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olusegun Asheru said that as part of the federal government new policy drive of economic diplomacy that ambassadors are the foot soldiers to drive the fight for Foreign Direct Investment. All Nigeria’s ambassadors, he said have been directed to commence drive to hold economic conferences to bring direct investors in to the country.
At press time, the following governors of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Plateau, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Gombe and the Ministers of Transport, Education, Federal Capital Territory, Housing and Urban Development, Power and various Nigerian industrialists were attending the conference.
The chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, National Treasurer, Bala kaoje and the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metu are also attending the conference that is expected to end by Saturday.