Business

Unlock Potential In Nigeria’s Non-oil Sector, Shettima Tasks Investors

Vice President Kashim Shettima has called for a significant shift from dependence on oil to other critical sectors with attractive investment returns in Nigeria.

He identified agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy and digital innovation, among other sectors as potential investment ground to explore, saying they align with the nation’s development priorities outlined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The Vice President who stated this on Friday during the Existing Foreign Direct Investors Roundtable at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, noted that the eight-point agenda of the Renewed Hope administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu “signals diverse avenues for investment, from agriculture to renewable energy.”

“Through targeted incentives and public-private partnerships, we aim to unlock the full potential of these sectors, catalyzing job creation and socio-economic empowerment across the country,” he added.

Senator Shettima assured the investors and other development partners of a business environment that is characterized by transparency, accountability, and regulatory certainty, even as he implored them to “recognize the indispensable role of public-private partnerships in mobilizing resources, sharing expertise, and mitigating investment risks.”

The VP observed that with the non-oil sector contributing 93.62 percent to Nigeria’s GDP in the first quarter of 2024, it is imperative to explore other critical sectors of the nation’s economy.

He said, “It is not by chance that the non-oil sector contributed 93.62% to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2024. This significant shift from our oil dependency invites us to explore diverse sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, renewable energy, and digital innovation.

“These sectors not only promise attractive returns but also align with our national development priorities outlined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and subsequent blueprints.”

VP Shettima further said the Tinubu administration adopted some mechanisms for the ease of doing business which, according to him, “stimulate investment across critical sectors and strengthen the capacity of public institutions, ensuring that industry stakeholders are never undermined.”

Emphasizing the importance of investment in the life of a country’s economy, Shettima noted that it is not just about financial returns but also “building lasting legacies and making enduring contributions to society,” just as he told the investor that their investments are capable of uplifting “communities, create sustainable livelihoods, and drive inclusive growth.”

He noted: “The life of every economy is defined by the volume of investments it accommodates and attracts. Investments are the lifeblood that fuel innovation, drive growth, and create opportunities for prosperity.

“Today, as we gather for this roundtable with our esteemed foreign direct investors, we celebrate not just the capital that flows into our nation but the confidence, trust, and partnerships that these investments represent”.

Senator Shettima further stressed that President Tinubu’s visionary leadership and pro-business background were added incentives to investing in Nigeria under the present dispensation.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President (Office of the Vice President), Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia, commended the development partners, foreign investors and other stakeholders for participating in the meeting.

Senator Hadejia outlined some of the efforts made by the administration of President Tinubu to boost the investment climate in Nigeria.

He said most of the measures already adopted by the administration were at different phases of implementation, and would yield fruits in the coming years for existing and aspiring investors to see.

In her remarks, the Technical Adviser to the President on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Princess Zahrah Mustapha-Audu presented the summary report of a survey conducted to aggregate views about foreign investments in Nigeria, noting that the outcome of the exercise would be critical to the efforts by the Tinubu administration to boost the investment environment in the country.

She explained that the programme – ‘Existing Foreign Direct Investors Roundtable’- is centered around seeking ways of retaining and scaling up investments in Nigeria, noting that the outcome of deliberations at the forum would be harnessed to boost existing frameworks and policies aimed at encouraging foreign direct investment in Nigeria.

Also present at the roundtable were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite; the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Mr. Aminu Umar-Sadiq; CEO of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Aisha Rimi; the Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Kemi Nandap; the representative of the CBN Governor and representatives of other federal government agencies.

Other participants include the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E Salem Saeed AlShamsi, the leadership of the American Business Council, other members of the diplomatic corps and technical partners.

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