Nigeria is secure for business – Labour Minister

Hikmat Bamigboye, Abuja

Aerial view of property developments in Abuja

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has assured foreign investors that Nigeria is open and secure for business.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was adopting concrete steps to diversify the economy and restore sustained growth.

The Minister gave the assurance while presenting the country’s position at the concluding session of the Labour and Trade Ministerial Roundtable of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, at the State Department in Washington DC.

“President Buhari has taken the initiative to create an enabling environment for business to grow, attract investments that are essential for growth, expand our manufacturing base and diversify the economy. Perceived constraints on business and investments are being removed so that both can thrive,” he said.

The Minister added that, “in the current economic situation, Nigeria needs continued support from her partners and friends such as the United States as we move forward as a country. I am confident in reassuring investors that Nigeria is open for business.”

Listing the gains of Nigeria’s participation at the forum while addressing journalistson the sidelines of the forum, Senator Ngige said Nigeria had secured the firm commitment of the United States for the establishment of labour projects and technical aid which
countries like Kenya, Madagascar and Zambia currently enjoy.

According to him, “the adverse push, with the sudden stoppage of the importation of the Nigeria’s crude by the United States, gave to Nigeria’s slip into recession.”

The Minister also said that Nigeria has made a strong case for the establishment of an Africa Skills Development Fund with Nigeria as the Headquarters, being the hub of West and Central Africa sub-region.

Senator Ngige made a case for the reconsideration of the suspension of the import of Nigeria’s cocoa into the United States.

On his part, the United State Trade Representative, Michael Froman, assured him of increased cooperation and coordination between agencies such as United States Agency for International Development and the United States Department of Agriculture, and the reconsideration of constraints faced by African nations in trade with the US.