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EoDB: Tinubu assures Saudi Arabian business community of investment-friendly environment in Nigeria

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (l) and Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabian Minister for Trade and Investment, During Saudi Nigeria Roundtable Meeting at Riyadh,Saudi Arabia       Photo: State House

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the recent Nigeria-Saudi Investment Roundtable in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, informs the Arabian country’s business community about Nigeria’s readiness to create the enabling environment for Ease of Doing Business in Africa’s largest economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the weekend in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reassured the country’s business community of Nigeria’s readiness to activate its Ease of Doing Business (EoDB), decorating that Africa’s largest economy, is now “open for business.”

Tinubu stated this during his deliberation with the captains of Saudi Arabian industry at the Nigeria-Saudi Investment Roundtable.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, stated that President Tinubu stressed that with his team in place, every negative perception or notion about what Nigeria has represented in the past with respect to EoDB, monetary policy, and trade cooperation is not applicable any longer.

The President restated the future of Africa’s largest economy is “open for business.”

The Nigerian leader further noted: “I believe in this team that I have brought from Nigeria. When I took office, I declared the immediate commencement of bold and fundamental economic reforms.

“We have executed them, and we sustain the reform process. Today, I declare that red tape is gone!”

Tinubu asserted: “I believe in the full application of free market economics. Your money will flow easily in and easily out.

“The arbitrage around our nation’s old foreign exchange policy regime and the corruption that was associated with it is also gone!

“We took on those bold endeavours from day one in preparation for serious investors like you seated here.”

On maximising Nigeria’s greatest assets

President told the Saudi Arabian business community, that the greatest opportunity for any entity to prosper lies in its human capital.

“My team is prepared. We can produce. Our market is full of Nigerian youths who are brilliant, highly educated, industrious, and passionate about innovation and engagement with world-class services.

“The navigation of the ship of this great nation lies in the membership seated here,” said he.

He also confidently affirmed that “we are ready to answer all of your questions directly, even into this night if need be.

“The sky is not just the limit, but it is the destination for our two countries and peoples.”

We’re ready for substantial new investment across several sectors, says Kahlid El-Falih

In his address at the forum, Kahlid El-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Trade and Investment Minister, noted the passion and candid expression of the Nigerian leader.

El-Falih responded that after listening to President Tinubu speak from his heart without any written remarks about what is possible between the two countries, Nigerians could expect that the Saudi investment community would respond not in words alone, but with substantial new investment across several sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The Saudi Arabian Trade and Investment Minister stated: “The Minister of Commerce and I will be visiting Nigeria either before the end of this year or very early next year with a very large delegation of Saudi CEOs from all key sectors.

“We know you are ready for business, so we do not want to come to Nigeria for any exploratory discussion. We are coming for implementation. It is an action visit.

“Mr. President, you agree with me that good intentions alone will not take us anywhere.”

El-Falih also assured the Nigerian President: “So, we will prepare well with your team and our investors will align with your officials, beginning now, to develop a concrete work plan of investments in the key sectors for takeoff when we meet again.

“When we meet soon in Abuja, it will be to sign and begin delivery on all agreements.

“We will also use the opportunity to formally inaugurate the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council.”

In his remarks, Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s Commerce Minister, previewed how Saudi Arabia could further contribute to the soft infrastructural reforms needed to unlock game-changing quantums of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria.

Al Qasabi said: “We have signed an agreement with the World Economic Forum on the reform of the services sector in Africa.

“In developed economies, the services sector contributes enormously to GDP. But in the developing world, we tend to focus on goods.

“So, we would like to make Nigeria the pilot country in this agreement with WEF to study Nigeria’s service challenges to make it seamless and make the supply chains across sectors streamlined and raised to international standard to enhance Nigeria’s economic and investment viability over the long-term.”

Nigeria is world’s best kept secret in investments and returns -Dangote

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, in his remarks, told Saudi investors that Nigeria, under the leadership of President Tinubu, would be unearthed to the world as a foremost global investment haven.

The Nigerian business magnate and Africa’s richest man, stated: “What I always say about Nigeria is that it is the world’s best kept secret in terms of investments and returns. We are also looking to ensure that our investments are a two-way process.

“Nigerian companies have a lot of value to add to the Saudi economy, and we look forward to working together in expanding our Nigerian operations as well.”

He said: “The soon coming launch of the Nigeria-Saudi Business Council will be a huge opportunity for both countries to expand on what has been established here.”

The statement said that Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of several Saudi conglomerates specialising in construction, finance, new and traditional energy, healthcare, agriculture, electric power, mining, aviation, telecommunications, creative arts, and hospitality were present and made their exploratory pitches to President Tinubu on areas of tangible collaboration at the Investor Roundtable.

Taking notes, President Tinubu listened carefully with eyes fixed on each investor as they made their contributions concerning new investment opportunities  in Nigeria, Africa’s largest market.

Tinubu said: “I have listened to all of you very intently, and I am not only impressed, but I am determined to be your partner in progress and prosperity.

“Nigeria will reward your faith. Our people are ready, and we will not disappoint.”

Ngelale, in the statement, disclosed the Nigerian Government delegation to Riyadh comprised the Executive Governors of Bauchi, Niger and Katsina States; Minister of Finance & Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Olawale Edun; Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu; and Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite.

Others are Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani; Minister of Agriculture, Sen. Abubakar Kyari; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri.

The Nigerian business delegation had Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited; Chairman of the Chagoury Group, Amb. Gilbert Chagoury; President of Flour Mills Nigeria, Mr. John Coumantaros; CEO of Oando Energy Company, Mr. Wale Tinubu, and many others.

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