Nigerian president woos global investors with reforms, incentives

Temitope Mustapha

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Nigeria is open for business and all investors will be provided with enabling environment to thrive and earn globally competitive returns on their investments.

This was the central message of the Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu to the global investment community as he interacted with investors, business leaders and top government functionaries on the sidelines of his well-applauded participation at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The Nigerian leader said this at the Nigeria-U.S. Executive Business Roundtable held after he rang the closing bell in New York on Wednesday, making him the first African President to ever receive the honour.

The President noted that his government has continued to address longstanding problems and impediments, such as restoration and unification of the foreign exchange rate market to a stable and trustworthy level,

He added that the moves are allowing new investors to seamlessly bring their resources into the country, devoid of worries about the status of their investment.

Nigeria is an opportunity that is impossible to replicate or find elsewhere in any part of the world. We have brilliant young people who both innovate and consume at a large scale. Our entrepreneurial spirit is a major part of what makes our market totally unique, aside from demography. Nigerians build businesses and Nigerian businesses partner with other businesses to conduct larger business. There is enough value to spread around. Be careful of what you hear about Nigeria. You may be dissuaded out of a major opportunity that others will take up. We are here for you. We will give you all the support you need to succeed and succeed abundantly,” the President assured the roundtable as he pointed out cabinet officials.

You’re free to take in your money and bring out your money. I count on you to invest in Nigeria,” the President exclaimed under the lights.”

In honour of President Bola Tinubu’s determined global push to aggressively attract foreign direct investment into Nigeria, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ), The Nigerian President was surrounded by Nigerian business leaders and officials of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, in trademark fashion.

It’s a great honour for me to be here. I am happy to bring Nigeria to your doorsteps and I am honoured that we are here today with a bubbling Nigerian stock market that will evolve in the West African sub-region. The greatest economy in Africa is Nigeria, there is an immense opportunity in Nigeria where you can invest your money without fear,” the President said.

On behalf of the U.S. Government, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, told U.S. business leaders that he was just a few hours removed from arriving in New York from Lagos, Nigeria, where he was on an official visit that later became a fact-finding mission.

In Lagos, I saw first hand some of the major reforms you implemented as the Governor of Lagos and the transformative effect it has had on Nigeria’s commercial capital. People have attested to the fact that the reforms you have put in place as President are quickly enhancing confidence. American business is paying attention to that and from what we have seen for ourselves, Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment. We will encourage our companies from our end as those reforms continue to deepen,” Mr. Adeyemo said.

The American Business Council President, Mr. Sops Ideriah, said that the extensive turnout at the roundtable by American Business Chief Executives served as a testament to the degree to which confidence is rising in response to the actions and words of President Bola Tinubu’s administration with respect to ease of business, investment promotion, and his willingness to personally intervene where required to ease the historical concerns of American business people about doing business in Nigeria.

Having all the stakeholders in the room, His Excellency the President of Nigeria being here, from government actors at the federal and state level to ministers and tax authorities present, as well as private sector industrialists in Nigeria. We are very positive about the potential of Nigeria and we are just reinforcing to our colleagues the message about the economic opportunities that exist there,” Mr. Ideriah said.

Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, assured the American Captains of Industry that under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, the nation’s apex tax authority will be focusing its efforts not on taxing the seed, but only on the proportionate taxation of the fruit of fully formed industry, through efficient policy synergy with Nigeria’s sub-national authorities.

The President is a business enabler, not a handicapper. Everything we do will be geared toward making your tax assessment and payment processes as digitally efficient and transparent as possible. We are not after the seed, but the fruit and we will keep to this commitment,” Nigeria’s new tax boss affirmed.

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