London: Dr Dalhatu Tafida, Nigeria High Commissioner to UK, advises Nigerians living in the diaspora to take advantage of investment opportunities in Nigeria
Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commission to the United Kingdom yesterday advised Nigerians living in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the investment opportunities available in Nigeria.
Dr. Tafida, represented by Lillian Onoh, gave this advice in his Keynote speech delivered at the Revitalising Nigeria Business Summit in London, organised by T&S Club publishers of Nigeria Magazine.
According to the High Commissioner, there are tremendous opportunities for investors and other stakeholders to participate, citing Agriculture, under President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, he said the Federal Government is creating an enabling environment by working with the private sector.
He went on to state that the Federal Government is promoting Nigeria as the premier investment destination.
Dr Tafida in his speech said among other sectors including education, health, there are opportunities for investment citing the housing sector which has a shortage of 17 million units.
The High Commissioner gave assurance that Nigeria is a safe investment destination with a large market of about 167 million people and a robust private sector and cheap labour. In line with Nigeria’s transformation agenda, he said “this summit is timely”.
Dr Tafida in his speech also mentioned that President Jonathan in his drive for investment will be attending a high level investment meeting in London next week. Dr Tafida commended T&S Club for organising the summit and said it was timely.
Chairman of T&S Club/Nigeria Magazine, Mr Kede Aihie in his welcome speech said “as Nigerians, we all have a role to play in revitalising and the transforming Nigeria”. He also said that as Nigerians, “we should begin to tell our own story as there are many positive stories about Nigeria”
Mr Dele Ibrahim, Managing Director of Lagos State Government Land Use Charge, in his speech titled Doing Business In Nigeria said that Lagos State has been effective in raising revenue from property taxes and that the key to the success was as a result of Governor Fashola’s visionary leadership. Mr Ibrahim also said that the economic growth rate of Nigeria should trickle down to the “common man”
John Wright, Programme Director, Commercial Opportunities London 2012, BT Global Services, told the audience that Africa was the last frontier for business opportunity and that Nigeria had huge market for various business opportunities. Mr Wright citing his entrepreneurial experience called on young Nigerians to approach challenges with a “very open and simplistic approach, evoking the famous John F Kennedy speech of “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.
Dr John Ebohon, a Reader and Director of the Developing World Built and Natural Research Unit in speech title Agriculture and Economic development told the audience that a well-articulate policy including agricultural value chain, will create millions of jobs- and that Nigeria should move beyond subsistent approach to corporateship and that it was in Europe’s interest for developing countries to develop. He ended by saying “in Nigeria, I don’t see problems, but opportunities”.
During the round table discussions, Francis Nwokedi a finance lawyer and investment banker with Unicredit Bank AG said Nigeria was moving in the right direction considering that areas like infrastructure including the power sector are being addressed. Mr Nwokedi advised the government to put in place a robust regulatory and legal framework as this would encourage investors. He noted Nigeria is currently receiving favourable credit rating and the time was ripe for Nigerians and investors to take the opportunities available. Political stability,
Dr Gbadebo Ogunlami, a Business Developer with Software Mind UK made presentation on cutting edge mobile money technology that can be applicable to financial institutions in Nigeria
Elizabeth Uwaifo, a partner in the Global Finance Group in London, Sidley Austin LLP chaired a panel on investment opportunities and business growth strategies. She reflected on a pertinent question posed by 17 year old British Nigerian on “why does Nigeria have rich individuals but as a nation is poor”. She recommended Nigerians should act in a collective manner and make it sustainable.
Esosa Aihie, Co-Chair of T&S Club/Nigeria Magazine in her remark said this summit was organised to engage with government, businesses and the private sector
The High Commissioner, speakers and delegates were in agreement that the conference was timely and successful.
The next Revitalise Nigeria Summit will be on CSR. It will take in Lagos Nigeria in March 2013
For more details visit www.nigeria-magazine.com