President Muhammadu Buhari has assured international investors of the readiness of his administration to continue with major privatisation programme started by previous governments but with “improved moral architecture.”
The President gave the assurance on Tuesday at a business forum organised by the United States Chamber of Commerce and The Corporate Council on Africa, in continuation of his four-day official visit to the US.
He called on US investors to take advantage of the nation’s liberal trade and investment climate by investing in the various profitable businesses available in Nigeria.
He said: “It is my intention to create the necessary environment for future investment in Nigeria.
“We are the most populous nation with largest market in Africa with vast human and natural resources and blessed with abundant young skilled workforce.
“We are therefore a proud candidate to become the destination of choice for United States investments in Africa. I will work assiduously to welcome new investors to our country.
“I will like to remind you all that we are continuing in major privatisation programmes with sectors ranging from telecommunication, energy, gas, solid minerals, aviation, health and infrastructural development, but with improved moral architecture. We will also simplify visa procedures based on principle of reciprocity.
“May I, therefore, seize this opportunity to formally invite the American business community to take advantage of our liberal trade and investment climate to do profitable business in Nigeria”
The President further urged the American business community to take advantage of the excellent political relationship between the two nations to expand trade and investment activities, including joint venture projects in priority sectors of the Nigerian economy, adding that the private sector must assume increasing role as part of the engine of growth.
According to Buhari, his government would specifically welcome genuine investors who were willing to embark on solid mineral exploration in Nigeria.
He also pledged that his administration would fulfill its key campaign promises which included creation of employment opportunities for millions of Nigerian youths.
He added: “Employment generation was one of my key campaign promises. I will do my best to keep this promise.
“There is no other way to expand economic opportunities and create employment opportunities for millions of our youths than boosting domestic manufacturing, undertaking infrastructural development and industrialisation.
“Let me repeat, Nigeria will partner with genuine investors who are willing to join us to achieve our economic objective and at the same time realise handsome returns to recoup their investments.
“There is more to Nigeria than oil. This is why I will continue to stress the need for increased United States investments in our non-oil sector.
“In this respect, the present administration will be attentive to the needs of the business community and pursue policies that will strengthen the sectors that drive the growth.’’