Nigerian President Buhari and African Development Bank President Wow Global Investors at New York International Partnership Forum | African development bank

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina on Thursday urged businesses and world leaders to invest boldly in Nigeria.

The two leaders and several other members of the private, public, investor and donor community, spoke at this year’s Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum in New York, the two leaders reassured participants that that despite the challenges, the country remains a prime investment destination.

The Nigerian government and the African Business Roundtable organized the event on the sidelines of the 77e session of the United Nations General Assembly. The Nigerian President was represented by his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

“Overall, the Nigerian economy is ripe for increased investment,” President Buhari said, highlighting the steps taken by his government to tackle insecurity and improve the country’s business climate.

“Our administration has invested heavily in improving security, and we are committed to doing much more. We will continue to provide all necessary support to our security teams to ensure they can meet the challenge head on.

Speaking about the security situation in Nigeria, the Director of the African Development Bank said, “To attract more foreign direct investment to Nigeria, we need to address the security situation. Capital does not like to be disturbed. Ultimately, investment capital must be made comfortable. Only then can he be attracted. With the right conditions in place, we can confidently say that Nigeria is an excellent investment destination.

Dr Adesina said that although Nigeria faces several challenges, “the country remains an attractive investment destination”.

Beyond the security challenges, President Buhari highlighted the initiatives his government is undertaking to improve the country’s economic development, including stepping up political reforms, strengthening governance and encouraging public-private investment in social infrastructure, human and physical.

“Nigeria could be Africa’s fastest growing economy by 2050 and could boost global GDP to 14th in the same year, provided we are successful in our efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and strengthen its institutions and infrastructure,” President Buhari said. , echoing the projections of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He added, “Of course, we have already committed to diversifying the economy and are already achieving significant results.”

President Buhari also cited the new integrated national financing strategy to enhance the impact of development financing and expand the country’s capacity to finance its sustainable development goals. The private sector should play an important role in driving the strategy.

The Nigerian leader noted that the war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic had affected Nigeria’s growth.

Adesina described Nigeria as an “investors’ dream” with strong market pull, a rapidly growing middle class and a burgeoning youth that can create demand and spark and stimulate entrepreneurship.

The bank’s president said, “Investors need to recognize this and invest. This is why the African Development Bank, in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank and the French Development Agency, is investing $618 million in the Digital and Creative Enterprises program in Nigeria. The program will support the creation of 225 creative start-ups and 451 digital technologies for small and medium-sized enterprises. They will create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the economy.

Adesina said that to help the country unlock its vast agricultural potential, the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Islamic Development Bank have provided $540 million to develop special agro-industrial processing zones in the country.

The financing will strengthen Nigeria’s food and agribusiness value chains and increase its competitiveness. “This is the power of international partnerships at the service of Nigeria,” said the Bank’s President.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has launched a national development plan (2021-2025) to generate 21 million full-time jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025. To achieve this, the country needs an investment commitment of about 348 billion naira (about $809 billion) which will depend heavily on strong partnerships between the private and public sectors.

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