By James Emejo
Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but its movement is not fast, the United Nations has said.
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, disclosed this yesterday during a meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.
She said the challenges in Nigeria were huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.
The UN scribe stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.
Mohammed said, “This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.
“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.”
Speaking on her trips across parts of Nigeria, she said, “What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction both economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.
“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues.”
She said the UN recognised the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, adding that the common global agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mohammad commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as she expressed hope that the arrival of vaccines would be the beginning of the end of COVID-19.
She said, “You can rest assure that there will be many more pandemic, so we should be prepared with strong health systems to do so.
“We hope that the vaccines will become more available and equitable, so that everyone gets it.”
On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, told his guest that the federal government was working hard to make Nigeria the entrepreneurial hub of Africa.
He stated that before the end of the first quarter of 2021, there should be a document on the government’s investment policies, as efforts were on to take Nigeria out of its mono-economy.