By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed has assured global investors that Nigeria is ready for business as it has improved significantly in the ease of doing business environment.
The Minister who stated this while wooing investors who attended the 2019 World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting in Washington DC, United States of America, assured them of high returns in investment.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communications, Mr. Paul Ella Abechi, said the minister made the call while speaking during the “Corpoate Council on Africa (CCA) Investor Roundtable: A Conversation with Prospective Investors” in Washington DC.
The CCA conversation with prospective investors featured presentation on Nigeria’s 2019 economic outlook. The Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma also attended the session.
She said, Nigeria is driving reforms in several sectors which will potentially impact private investors positively.
“Nigeria’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan targets investments in critical infrastructure & Human Capital Development, as well as enhance food security, foster industrialisation, create jobs & facilitate the ease of doing business” she said.
On restoring growth, she explained that macroeconomic stability; & economic diversification (agriculture & food security; mining & minerals remains a priority for the government.
She noted that investing in the Nigerian people means social Inclusion, job creation; and youth empowerment.
She also said, the FG is pursuing improved human capital development through qualitative & affordable healthcare; reformed education system.
Mrs. Ahmed Nigeria is also committed to building a globally competitive economy.
“We are building a globally competitive economy by investing in transportation & other critical Infrastructure (roads, rail ports & ICT / broadband networks); energy & power sufficiency” she said.
She also said, Nigeria is also driving industrialization and focusing on SMEs just as it is Improving ease of doing business improving the business environment; & promoting digitaI-Ied growth.
In 2019 and in line with the ERGP, we will continue to invest resources in achieving the following Fiscal priorities she said adding that enhancing Revenue Generation, Collection & Monitoring Fiscal Consolidation by Optimising Priority Capital & Recurrent Expenditure is key.
Optimising Management of both Domestic & Global Fiscal Risks increased Coordination of Fiscal, Macroeconomic, Monetary & Trade Policies Nigeria is open for business she noted.
She said, Nigeria is actively seeking Investors to consolidate on the recent economic recovery plot a trajectory for diversified, sustainable & inclusive economic growth over the medium-term to Iong-term horizon.
She called for private sector support in solving the pervasive problem of revenue generation.
“Nigeria must mobilize significant resources to invest in human capital development and critical infrastructure. Given the low revenue to GDP ratio (currently at about 7%), we must pursue optimal revenue generation” she said.
“I would like to seize this opportunity to call on prospective Investors to support this administration in solving Nigeria’s revenue generation problem” the Minister emphasized.
She however warned that some reforms would be tough but are necessary based on the facts on the ground.
“Indeed, some reforms will be tough but it must be done if we will look at the facts and be frank to ourselves. However, we will engage the private sector in whatever we do, including any changes in taxes with regards to rates or administration methods” she assured adding that the FG “will have town hall meetings, stakeholder forums, etc. to discuss matters that will affect businesses.”