President Buhari’s critics have been ridiculing the President for his frequent foreign trips, calling him a “Travel/Touring president”. They fail to appreciate that his visits have positioned Nigeria as the world’s new growth engine.
President Buhari had undoubtedly visited 26 countries since he took charge of the nations number one office where he is successfully discharging his national duties, 20 of his travels across the world are mainly on Finance, Loan and Summit that will enhance and give way for influx of investors into our country, the president is propagating and conveying the new message of change and progress, telling tales of how Nigeria would be the next big hit for investors, he attends summits sourcing investments around the globe, he will bring a return gift of investors for the country in the form of dividend , truthful and cheerful plans as he works tirelessly for Nigeria to become the top destination for foreign direct investment in the world. Buhari encourages and sponsor made in Nigeria as he calls on exporters to come trade with Nigerians.
Already million of foreign capital inflows had been recorded in the last 4 months, Nigeria had surpassed what it used to be before now when it comes to production and industry.If things continue to go the way it should, Nigeria will be the next big team in the league of best economy with both China and US in inflows this year as it has the potential to out perform others in economic growth and overpower the apparent slowdown in emerging markets. It’s heartening that Nigeria would soon have more than doubled its half-yearly investment levels.
The Buhari Government have truly imbibed the hallmark of its manifestoes of converting adversity into opportunity. Amidst the gloom of global slowdown and the oil market crash, instead of going on the defensive, the president attends high- level international meetings with other countries, stakeholders and experts to deliberate on how to position Nigeria as the world’s next investment destination.A closer scrutiny of our macroeconomic numbers gives us reason to be confident.We are the only economy to have 2.50 per cent plus gross domestic product growth rate even in the current turbulent global economic scenario, and this is expected to go higher.
Unarguably, we are currently projected to be one of the strongest and fastest-growing economy.The Finance Ministry have managed the economy astutely and has successfully managed a turnaround in the past few months, exposing fraud and initiating recovery, legalizing TSA.This also signifies that President Buhari’s initiatives, like the Made in Nigeria and the Digital Nigeria plans, have managed to attract attention. In the coming months, they will generate greater interest among the global investors. Initiatives like the ‘Start-up Nigeria for entrepreneurs, Lagos state govt had already implemented its own quota' Stand up Nigeria’ and ‘Skill Nigeria’ campaigns are bound to enhance entrepreneurship and innovation, and generate employment for the youth.
Financial experts also agree that President Buhari's foreign visits have triggered a big positive response from investors globally. His charismatic personality and governance model have galvanised the investment story. Global investors have whole-heartedly trusted the Presidents pitch for a new, developed Nigeria. It will be good if political adversaries back home also support his vision for a new, modern and developed Nigeria.
The Buhari’s Government had in the past 7 months taken several significant measures to improve the ease of doing business and promote investments . President Buhari have expressed his commitment to improving the ease of doing business by building a congenial atmosphere for investment. Rules and procedures have been simplified and a number of products have been taken off the licensing list. Made in Nigeria initiative aims to achieve the objective by creating an investor-friendly environment, modern and efficient infrastructure, opening of new sectors and forging partnerships between Government and industries.
Significant improvements have been made in regulatory environment through deregulation, delicensing and simplification of procedures. An action plan has been proposed for improvement in the regulatory environment.The Government intends to provide a robust infrastructure to businesses through the development of various facilities and institutions. Buhari's government is aiming to develop industrial corridors and smart cities to provide a conducive working environment with state-of-the-art technology.
Efforts are also being made to provide skilled manpower through a national skill development programmes such as Youwin and much more. Moreover, environment clearances can be sought online. All income tax returns can be filed online. Validity of industrial licences has been extended. Paper registers are being replaced by electronic documents. The approval of the head of department is necessary to undertake an inspection.Hundred per cent under the automatic route has been permitted in construction, operation and maintenance in rail infrastructure projects and other projects.
The old policy in the defense sector has been liberalized and the cap has been raised from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. Hundred per cent Budget have been allowed in the defense sector for modern technology on a case-by-case basis. All ministries have adopted a target-specific approach. Each ministry has identified an action plan for the next one year and three years. Twenty five industry related ministries are working on sector-specific targets, which have been identified by them. An investor facilitation cell has been created with a dedicated team to guide and assist first-time investors.
Many ongoing projects, in sectors such as coal, civil aviation, mines, petroleum, power and roads, were pending resolution of issues at different levels. Any stalled projects have been resolved by the initiative of the Government. In the past two decades, China was the growth engine for the world. However, like many Chinese products, the Chinese engine is getting dated. Nigeria would emerged as the new growth engine.
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