THE Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has expressed the desire of Federal government to cooperate with United States NEXIM Bank to attract investors into the real sector of the economy.
He made the call during the visit of the Management team of the Bank led by its President Mr. Fred Hochberg to his office in Abuja.
The Minister stated that there were a lot of investment opportunities in the country as result of the deep, bold and creative steps taken by the Federal government to improve the investment climate in the country.
Aganga said that Nigeria needs a lot of investments to develop her infrastructure and grow the real sector of the economy, adding that the strategy of government was to identify those areas that the country has comparative and competitive advantage.
“It is my responsibility and that of my Ministry to look for investment in the real sector of the economy and make sure that we improve the investment climate of the country. There are a lot of opportunities in the country. The opportunities are there, the risk is there but the return on investment here is much higher than that of any other developing economy.”
On the issue of corruption and security the Minister pointed out that government has strengthened the EFCC, ICPC and is working on national value reorientation that will be sustainable over a long time. He added that government was working on job creation to target unemployed youth to curb unrest in some part of the country.
According to him “when you talk of security of life and asset, the reality is that, the issue of security is now a global issue and it requires global response. It is not about Nigeria alone whatever happens in Nigeria has happened in the US, UK, it is a global issue which we have to deal with”.
The Minister informed the visiting team that a lot of investors from Asia, Middle East and other have been coming to discuss their investment plans in the country adding that government was ready to remove any barriers to make Nigeria an investment designation.
“Investment is coming in, I want more, that is the difference, I am not satisfied where we are, we can do far more with the opportunities here. We will do whatever we need to make sure we have the best and make Nigeria Investment designation in terms of improving our investment climate”.
In his contribution, the Nigerian Ambassador to United States, His Excellency Professor Ade Adefuye said that the event of the past has shown that government was more determined to deal with the issue of corruption adding that United States investors has to show interest in Nigeria’s Power and other sectors privatization process in order not to lose out from the higher rate of return on investment in Nigeria.
Also, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence P. McCulley pointed out that United States has robust collaboration with Nigeria to create conducive atmosphere for business to strive through capacity training with security agencies across board adding that US investors have shown interest in investing in 50,000 hetres of rice production in Sokoto State.
Earlier, the President, US NEXIM Bank, Mr. Fred Hochberg had pointed out that Nigeria was one of the top nine markets out of 109 countries the Bank was focusing on and that they are willing to cooperate with President Jonathan to improve standard of living of Nigerians.
He urged government to look into the issues of corruption; security and transparency which he said will go along way to enhance investment.