25 September

Senior officials of the Federal Government joined representatives of the Nigerian private sector and American investors to discuss ease of doing business and foreign investment at the Nigeria-U.S. Business and Investment Forum in New York on Tuesday 18 September.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, the official representative of President Muhammadu Buhari at the forum, assured investors that the government would provide a favourable investment climate to ensure high returns. Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah echoed Onyeama.

Onyeama, speaking on behalf of the President, said that the Federal Government would not betray the confidence the U.S. investors already present in Nigeria.

“What we are offering the investors is a much more stable environment, a lot of enabling business environment, one stop shop for registration of names, for getting passport, for coming into the country,” he said.

Onyeama continued by stating that the high level representation of the government demonstrated the commitment of the Federal Government to making the U.S.-Nigeria partnership really work.

The forum was also attended by representatives of the Nigerian private sector and leading U.S. investors, including Rendeavour, Africa’s largest urban land developer, Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, CitiGroup and Massmart/Walmart.

Introducing Onyeama to speak at the forum, Frank Mosier, chairman of Rendeavour, congratulated the Nigerian government on working with the private sector.

“Building a 20-year real estate and infrastructure investment like Jigna in Abuja or Lekki City in Lagos naturally has its challenges, but with the support of government we can ensure that all due process is followed to avoid frustration of foreign investors,” he said.

Rendeavour is currently investing over $250m on infrastructure in Jigna, a mixed-use development in Abuja with thousands of homes, offices and shops, as well as schools and medical facilities. As a result, Jigna is expected to catalyse an estimated $1bn of additional investment in Abuja, and create tens of thousands of jobs. A similar amount is to be invested in Lekki City, Rendeavour’s project at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

“Nigeria is an investment destination that no serious Africa investor can ignore, and I assure you that there is no better time than now to invest in Nigeria,” Mosier said.

Enelamah explained that the Federal Government is building the Nigeria of the future where things would be done differently from the way they were done in the past. “There is a sense of urgency for Nigeria’s industrialization, and we are providing the enabling business and investment environment for investors,” Enelamah said.

Ms Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary for the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), said the Federal Government was aware of the bottlenecks for investors and businesses.

Sadiku, however, assured that the problems are being addressed. She said NIPC is working to achieve 25bn Foreign Direct Investment by 2020, surpassing Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan set target.