Nigeria ready for business, Finance Minister tells investors at World Bank meeting

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed. [Photo credit: Guardian Nigeria]
Zainab Ahmed. [Photo credit: Guardian Nigeria]

Nigeria’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, has told global investors that Nigeria is ready for business.

The minister was speaking at the “Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) Investor Roundtable: A Conversation with Prospective Investors” in Washington DC.

Mrs Ahmed assured prospective investors of high returns in their investments.

The CCA conversation with prospective investors was also attended by the minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, featured presentations on Nigeria’s 2019 economic outlook.

According to Mrs Ahmed, Nigeria is driving reforms in several sectors which will potentially impact private investors positively.

“Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan targets investments in critical infrastructure and Human Capital Development, as well as enhance food security, foster industrialisation, create jobs and facilitate the ease of doing business,” she said.

On restoring growth, the minister said macroeconomic stability, economic diversification in agriculture and food security; mining and solid minerals, remains a priority for the government.

She said investing in the Nigerian people means social inclusion, job creation and youth empowerment.

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Besides, she said the federal government is pursuing improved human capital development through qualitative and affordable healthcare; reformed education system.

Mrs Ahmed said Nigeria was also committed to building a globally competitive economy.

“We are building a globally competitive economy by investing in transportation & other critical Infrastructure (roads, rail ports & ICT / broadband networks); energy and power sufficiency,” she said.

Also, she said Nigeria is driving industrialization and focusing on SMEs, just as it is improving ease of doing business improving the business environment; and promoting digital-Ied growth.

In 2019, and in line with the ERGP, she said Nigeria would continue to invest in fiscal priorities to enhance revenue generation, collection and monitoring fiscal consolidation by optimising priority capital & recurrent expenditure is key.

Nigeria, the minister said, is actively seeking investors to consolidate on the recent economic recovery plot a trajectory for diversified, sustainable and inclusive economic growth over the medium-term to Iong-term horizon.

She called for private sector support in solving the pervasive problem of revenue generation.

“Nigeria must mobilize significant resources to invest in human capital development and critical infrastructure. Given the low revenue to GDP ratio (currently at about 7%), we must pursue optimal revenue generation,” she said.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to call on prospective Investors to support this administration in solving Nigeria’s revenue generation problem” the minister said.

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