Nigeria Magazine hosted the 3rd Revitalise Nigeria Business and Investment Summit – “Unlocking Investment Opportunities” on Tuesday 8th October at Thistle Marble Arch Hotel, London UK
The 3rd Revitalise Nigeria Business and Investment summit titled “Unlocking Investment Opportunities” took place on 8th October 2013 at Thistle Marble Arch Hotel, London.
The Chairman of Nigeria Magazine in his welcome remark encouraged Nigerians in the Diaspora to take advantage of the huge business opportunities available in Nigeria and that many foreign investors are flocking to Nigeria.
The Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, who was represented by the Second Secretary, Trade and Investment, Emmanuel Nweke, said that Nigeria was open to investors considering the numerous investment opportunities and that government has embarked on reforms in the power, agriculture and other sectors.
Peter Bishop, Deputy CEO, London Chamber of Commerce said Nigeria’s recent economic growth was driven by non-oil development, with increased private sector participation in infrastructure projects including the Lekki Free Zone, east of Lagos and 20:2020 campaign which is targeting telecoms, the fastest growing market in Africa. He also said that Nigeria’s action in mining is set to “relegating crude oil to the back door” given the abundance of tin, iron ore, niobium, lead, gemstones, zinc, lignite, manganese, gold and uranium.
The Keynote speaker, Clive Carpenter, Vice Chairman and Nigeria Desk Officer, Business Council for Africa West & Southern told the delegates the UK is Nigeria’s “preferred partner” and that UK/Nigeria Trade was worth US$6.1 billion in 2012 and MOU signed to double this by 2014. Mr Carpenter said that “if you are not in Nigeria, you are not in Africa”.
A speech by Francis Nwokedi, Partner, Fasken Martineau LLP, “Realising Nigeria’s Full Investment Potentials” highlighted three critical requirements including: a radical and transformational “mindshift” on us all as Nigerians; right structural conditions of Nigeria’s soft and hard infrastructural framework; and the need to encourage and deepen investments in own domestic market to be able to access funds, negotiate favourable terms and secure these from a position of strength.
The first panel discussion chaired by Esosa Aihie focused on how democracy, development and diversity can unlock business and investment opportunity. Every member of the panel agreed that a change of mind set and the application of knowledge were necessary.
Mark Norris, a veteran of the London Underground system and a reliability engineer spoke on lessons Nigeria can adopt to improve the management of public infrastructure.
Chidi Umeano, Principal Consultant Codub Consulting Ltd spoke on infrastructure and asset management in emerging markets – A focus on Nigeria. Chidi focused on the power and health sectors. Quoting the African Development Bank (ADB), he said with adequate infrastructure, African firms could achieve productivity gains of up to 40%. Also quoting the Punch Newspaper, he said Nigerians spent over $800 million annually for medical treatment abroad and advised Nigerians to invest in medical facilities in Nigeria.
The second panel discussion was chaired by Sam Dimka, focused on overcoming challenges in relation to the maintenance of assets and facilities.
A speech by Elizabeth Uwaifo Partner, Fasken Martineau LLP titled “Revitalise Nigeria, What is my responsibility?” said that it was important to create a mindset for self-sufficiency, personal success and community advancement. She encouraged Nigerians to take responsibility by making a case for investment in Nigeria within their organisations and that she left her previous firm “to join Fasken in order that I may be in a position to play a more significant role in shaping the market for finance in infrastructure, agriculture and other amenities in various African countries”.
The third panel of the summit chaired by Mrs Elizabeth Uwaifo harped on “everyone taking personal responsibility.
Panel members were: Clive Carpenter (BCA), Francis Nwokedi (Fasken Martineau LLP), Esosa Aihie (Nigeria Magazine), Elizabeth Uwaifo (Fasken Martineau LLP), Sam Dimka (Ritecom Communication), Mark Norris AssetRight Management Consultancy), Chidi Umeano (Codub Consulting), Emmanuel Nweke (Nigeria High Commission), Dr Gbadebo Ogunlami (Oil& Gas and IT Expert) and Peter Bishop (London Chamber of Commerce & Industry).
The summit was well attended with delegates from top UK, Nigerian and Afro-Caribbean businesses, professionals, SMEs, start-ups, the diplomatic corps and respected personalities.
The one day summit was well received as it provided ample networking opportunities for all attendees including speakers, panelists and delegates.
Some slides from the meeting: