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World Economic Forum will address socio-economic challenges - Jonathan

05 May 2014, 10:09

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday expressed confidence that the forthcoming World Economic Forum on Africa would attract huge foreign capital into Nigeria and the entire African continent.

Jonathan, who was speaking at the Presidential Media Chat in Abuja, said some prospective participants at the forum had indicated their interest to invest billions of dollars into the nation’s economy.

He said two investors had announced that they would be investing 250 and 150 million dollars respectively in the economy.

“If Nigeria gets permanent right to host World Economic Forum on Africa regularly, it may develop infrastructure such as in Davos, Switzerland,” he said.

He explained that the hosting of the forum by Nigeria would help the country in attracting additional investment as well as address the challenges of infrastructure development.

The President said the forum would provide opportunity for international financial institutions as IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and others to discuss their offers for speedy development of Africa.

According to him, the forum will also afford the private sector opportunity to source for more funds to enable it invest in critical infrastructure of the country.

He said the forum would provide the platform for government to invite the private sector to partner with it in the development of the transport, health, agriculture and the energy sectors of the economy.

The President, who identified instability in the nation’s power sector as one of the greatest challenges facing the government, said the energy sector would attract global attention during the forum with a view to addressing it.

On the order to close schools and government offices on Wednesday and Thursday due to hosting of the economic forum, Jonathan urged residents of Abuja and management of private sector schools to cooperate and show more understanding to ensure success of the forum.

He said the federal government was working assiduously to reduce the level of unemployment in the country by encouraging small and medium enterprises.

The President, therefore, expressed optimism that the forum would help the country in addressing the challenges of unemployment through private sector intervention.

-    NAN

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