Washington - President Muhammadu Buhari
on Tuesday in Washington urged American entrepreneurs to use the opportunities
offered by the liberal trade and investment climate in Nigeria to do profitable
Buhari, who gave the advice at a business forum organised by
the United States Chamber of Commerce and The Corporate Council on Africa, said
that his administration would continue with the Federal Government’s
privatisation programme in various sectors of the economy.
According to him, the privatisation exercise will be
expanded to include the nation’s aviation, telecommunication, energy, gas,
solid minerals, health, and infrastructure development sectors.
"It is my intention to create the necessary environment for
future investment in Nigeria.
"We are the most populous nation and largest market in
Africa with vast human and natural resources and blessed with abundant young
"We are, therefore, proud candidates to become the destination
of choice for United States investments in Africa. I will work assiduously to
welcome new investors tour country.
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"I would like to remain you all that we are continuing in
major privatisation programme with sectors ranging from telecommunication
energy, gas, solid minerals, aviation, health and infrastructural development,
but with improved moral architecture.
"We will also simplify visa procedures based on the
principle of reciprocity.
"May I, therefore, seize this opportunity to formally invite
the American business community to take advantage of our liberate trade and
investment climate to do profitable business in Nigeria."
The President, therefore, called on the business communities
in the United States and Nigeria to exploit the excellent political relations
between the two countries to expand trade and investment as well as enter into
joint venture projects in priority sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He identified the power generation, gas, agriculture value
chain, mining, health, tourism, among others, as the sectors needing expansion.
He said: "While I recognise the pivotal role of government
in facilitating and promoting economic growth, the private sector must assume
an increasing role as part of the engine of growth.
"We will welcome genuine investors, who are willing to come
to Nigeria for solid mineral exploitation."
He pledged that his administration would carry out its key
campaign promises including the creation of employment opportunities for
millions of Nigerian youths.
"Generating employment was one of my key campaign promises.
I will do my best to keep this promise.
"There is no other way to expand economic opportunities and
create employment opportunities for millions of our youths than boosting
domestic manufacturing, undertaking infrastructural development and
"Let me repeat, Nigeria will partner with genuine investors
who are willing to join us to achieve our economic objective and at the same
time realize handsome returns to recoup their investments
"There is more to Nigeria than oil. This is why I will
continue to stress the need for increased United States investments in our
"In this respect the present administration will be
attentive to the needs of the business community and pursue policy that will
strengthen the sectors that drive the growth."
Buhari reassured that his administration would reduce waste
in the management of the Nigerian economy through prudence, accountability, and
good governance as well as respect for the Rule of Law, strict compliance with
and observance of contractual agreements.
According to him, Nigeria has huge economic potential that
required heavy funding that cannot be sourced locally.
"In this regard, I want to use this platform to encourage
United States foreign investment and funding agencies such as Overseas
Investment Corporation and the United States Export–Import Bank to increase
access to capital and funding of such businesses on favourable terms.
"Nigerian potentials are already being exploited," he
In his remarks, the Chairman, Corporate Council on Africa,
Mr Paul Hinks, expressed the readiness of American investors to do business
with the new government in Nigeria.
He, therefore, invited Buhari to chair the council’s summit
scheduled to hold in Ethiopia in November.