Nigeria is Safe for Investment, Minister Insists

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Emma Okonji

Against rising fears that the Nigerian investment climate may not be safe for investors who are interested in doing business in the country, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has insisted that Nigeria remained a safe place for investment.

The minister, who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday, re-iterated the present government’s resolve to make Nigeria’s business environment safe and conducive.

He said the fact that several investors have been in the country with many others indicating interest to invest in the country, is a testimony to the safe business environment they enjoyed. “Nigeria is safe for investors and return on investment (ROI) is assured and our regulatory processes are open, effective and transparent”, he stressed.

Shittu, who gave the assurance while playing host to the Swedish Minister of Trade and EU Affairs, Ms Ann Linde and the Swedish Business Delegation to Nigeria on Smart Cities, Innovation and ICT in his office said to sustain this trend, the country is ready to re-strategise on how to attract more meaningful investments from Sweden, leveraging on the ICT sector.

The minister specifically said that Nigeria would avail herself of opportunities that abound in Sweden being a knowledge society, ranked as the most digitalized economy in the world.

Addressing the delegates, he said, “Your global competitiveness depends on the ability to create, develop and, make practical use of new scientific discoveries. They invest in knowledge and competence and have used ICT as a key developmental tool and in creating jobs for her citizens. This is a special area interest and Nigeria will like to share and learn from Sweden”.

He said Nigerian government’s strategic focusing on broadband development and e-Government master plan fit squarely with the sustainable development goals for future growth plans.

“I am happy to let you know that with the planned auction of the additional lot in the 2.6GHz spectrum and the release of auction time table, the road to broadband boom in the country is very close. Government is headed for bigger and better tidings from the industry,” the minister said.
Shittu stressed that the aim of the visit was to share knowledge, build new long-term relationship and strengthen current relationship which can drive innovation and stimulate entrepreneurship as well as contributing to improved welfare and empowerment of people.

He expressed confidence in the Swedish-Nigeria Conference co-hosted by the Ministry and Swedish Embassy saying, it is set not only to map out collaborative efforts between Sweden and Nigeria but also for the fact that it is taking place in Nigeria.

He added that it is designed to further identify policy benefits, business opportunities, technology solutions, shared best practices and form a strategic relationship that drive Nigeria’s ICT and telecom industry in this period of economic meltdown to profitability and growth.
The minister assured the delegates that Nigeria would collaborate with Sweden in the area of ICT “to achieve the Smart Government Initiative as enshrined in the ministry’s communications roadmap, adding that the country will welcome more cooperation with Sweden in the area of human and institutional capacity development”.

The delegate include: Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Inger Ultvedt; Political Adviser to the Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, Ms. Anna M Sundstrom and Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden, Nigeria, Mr. Robert Keller.

Other members of the business delegation team were, Mr. Ludvig Hermansson, Ms. Cecilia Leideman-Back, Ms. Anthonia Adenaya, Mr. Robert Nyberg and Mr. Mohammed Hosseiny.