President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Thursday in Paris – France said ongoing reforms, starting with removal of fuel subsidy and streamlining of exchange rate, will be sustained for a more competitive economy that attracts Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), urging investors to take advantage of opportunities in Nigeria.
“We are ready for business, prepared to welcome investments,’’ he said, while receiving President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim), Prof. Benedict Oramah and President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud–Basso, in separate meetings, on the sidelines of the Summit for New Global Financing Pact.
A statement from Presidency quoted the President as assuring the delegation of AfreximBank Executives led by Dr Oramah that the Federal Government will continue to stimulate the economy with policies that support investments in areas of Nigeria’s competitive advantage, particularly agriculture.
“We need reforms for national survival,’’ he added, noting that it would take boldness and courage to reposition the economy, calling for more collaboration to solidify the economy.
“We must stimulate recovery for the growth and prosperity of our people, which will not be far away. Nigeria is ready for global business and our reform is total.
“Nigeria is blessed with human and material resources,’’ President Tinubu told the delegation, who had earlier listed areas of interventions to buoy the economy, like infrastructure, health, energy and agriculture.
The President of AfreximBank commended President Tinubu for the bold steps in removing the fuel subsidy and unification of the exchange rate, assuring the Nigerian leader of the full support of the financial and development institution on the ongoing reforms.
Dr Oramah said the bank was already building the first African Specialist Hospital in Abuja, and Energy Bank, pledging to inject more money into the economy to further build confidence of investors.
In the meeting with the EBRD, President Tinubu said, “We are challenged in terms of reforms, and we have taken the largest elephant out of the room with removal of fuel subsidy, and multiple exchange rates are equally gone. We are determined to open up the economy for business. Consider us a stakeholder in the Bank.’’
He told the EBRD President that Nigeria’s economy was too large and potent to be ignored, adding, “Ignoring Nigeria will be a peril to the universe.’’
Renaud-Basso said it would be a mistake for the development bank not to invest in Nigeria, after considering six potential economies for investment.
She explained that focus would be on the private sector, especially Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).