Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has urged Japanese investors to set up manufacturing plants in Nigeria.
She told a Japanese trade and investment mission to Nigeria in Abuja yesterday that the country was open and ready to continue to do business with the rest of the world, and urged the big Japanese companies to invest in the country by setting up manufacturing plants, instead of shipping in finished products.
In a parley with the Japanese public and private joint mission, which is in the country to promote trade and investment, the minister said Nigeria welcomes Japanese investors in banking, insurance, manufacturing and other sectors.
The Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs led the 32 private sector and government organisations to the Ministry of Finance for the parley.
â€œWe will assist you to do well. Many companies came into Nigeria and are doing very well and there is nothing to stop Japanese firms from doing very well,â€ Adeosun was quoted to have said in a statement issued by the ministry
According to her, the government is vigorously working to improve the countryâ€™s business environment by investing in transportation infrastructure and had made doing business in Nigeria easier.
â€œSpecific reforms by removing lots of impediments, fiscal incentives to facilitate your coming into Nigeria to invest and drive your businesses, are being put in place,â€ she assured.
Africaâ€™s biggest economy, add he said, is coming out of recession soon and wants to grow again, adding that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) articulated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was designed to stabilise the economy and propel it into growth.
The ERGP, she added, envisages stabilising the macroeconomic environment, boosting agricultural production for food security, ensuring energy sufficiency, improving transportation infrastructure and driving industrialisation through manufacturing, noting that there are opportunities for the Japanese private sector investors, especially through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the development of transportation infrastructure, hydropower and ports
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the mission, the Japanese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shunsuke Takei, said that their mission to Nigeria was part of the efforts by the Japanese government to actualise the US$30 billion public and private investment pledge made in August 2016 during the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Nairobi, Kenya, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated that given the size of the Nigerian population and market as well as its economic recovery and potential for growth, Japanese investors were desirous of investing in Nigeria, while noting challenges in the areas of security, legal and power environments.
He lauded the ERGP and expressed optimism that the foreign exchange situation would improve further.