G-2O Summit: Woo foreign investors, OPS tells Tinubu

Member groups of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria have told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to seize the occasion of the G-20 Summit holding in India to woo foreign investors to the country.

This came as leaders from the Group of 20 (G-20) economies meets in India’s capital this week to find solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems.

The OPS, in separate interviews, said the president must take advantage of the G-20 platform to sell investment opportunities in Nigeria to the international community.

Speaking with The PUNCH, the Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, noted that while it was more important for the president to address the harsh business environment in the country before looking to woo investors, the G-20 Summit presents an opportunity to sell the investment potentials of Nigeria’s economy, especially the manufacturing sector.

According to him, Nigeria’s manufacturing industry, which had witnessed declining investments lately, is replete with investment opportunities that the president can sell to would-be investors.

Ajayi-Kadir said, “I would rather tell the president what he should do to make investors come and invest in Nigeria. As a player in Nigeria, we already have a lot of challenges that is not making us to invest or to expand our investments in Nigeria.

“However, it is well known to everyone that Nigeria has huge economic potential, so it will be good for the president to tell investors that we have a young population that is vibrant and a huge market. He should woo investors that will come and invest in the manufacturing industry

Also speaking, the Deputy-President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gabriel Idahosa, emphasised the need for the president to let the world know that the bottlenecks which inhibited investments in the country in the past had been unbundled.

He further stated that much of the investment drive during the trip would have to happen on the sidelines given the highly political nature of the summit itself.

He said, “The president won’t really be able to canvass for investments that much, but the businessmen who went with him can negotiate on the sidelines because the G20 itself is a political meeting. The good thing is that he went with a strong delegation of businessmen who can negotiate deals on the sidelines. Unless the government wants to sell major shares in one of its enterprises, then we can expect some investments from the participants.”

Noting that India as a country has already made significant investments in Nigeria, Idahosa said the Nigeria-India business summit which would hold on the sidelines would provide an opportunity for the relation

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise,Dr.  Muda Yusuf, said it was crucial for the president to highlight his economic reforms before the international community and emphasise how the reforms would support foreign investment.

He added that the president must also make a compelling argument with regard to the strengths of the various subsectors of the economy and the benefits that could come from strategic partnerships with investors.

He said, “He should tell them the kind of reforms he is embarking upon to ensure that investors have confidence in the economy because, before now, investors have expressed concerns about our foreign exchange market, which was a major impediment, our insecurity, which was also an impediment.

What is important is to convince them to bring their funds into the economy and to also assure them that the economy has a lot of opportunities. A population of over 2oo million people is a significant investment opportunity, across all sectors.”

In the same vein, the National Vice President of the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Segun Kuti-George urged the president to let the international community know that Nigeria is open to investment opportunities.

He said, “He should sell the fact that there is political stability in the country now. He should also talk about the economic reforms that we have had. The forex exchange harmonisation, in particular, should give investors confidence. These are the critical issues that that he should use to attract investors

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