We made painful decisions for the future of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari explained how his administration made painful decisions to invest for a prosperous future for all Nigerians.
Speaking in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday at an investment conference hosted by the Future Investment Initiative Institute, the Nigerian leader said upon taking office in 2015 that his government understood the importance of inclusive policies for lasting peace.
According to him, “over the past six years our government has made some very painful but necessary decisions to invest for a prosperous long-term future, knowing full well that this will come with short-term pain,” the president said. in a press release. published by his media assistant, Garba Shehu.
“The Nigerian population today exceeds 200 million people. Some 70 percent are under 35. When we took office in 2015, we quickly realized that the long-term peace and stability of our country depended on inclusive and humane policies.
He said the federal government will continue to encourage public and private initiatives that increase investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, eradication of poverty, climate change and food security.
According to him, this will go a long way in revitalizing the global economy in a post-COVID-19 era.
Buhari attributed the growing social unrest to inequalities and unfair policies that exclude the majority of opportunities for participation, urging world leaders and global investors to prioritize inclusive and humane policies.
Reacting to the summit’s theme, “Investing in Humanity,” President Buhari said the Nigerian perspective remains focused on people-centered development policies, with oil diversifying into more inclusive sectors such as agriculture. , ICT and mining; fight against corruption, insecurity and climate change and introduce social investment programs.
Buhari praised the organizers of this year’s summit for the foresight to look at “investing” not only from the point of view of profitability and wealth accumulation, but also of bringing prosperity to mankind. in general.
The human approach to investing, he said, is the only way to address the global challenges we face, especially in the age of Covid-19.
The president noted that investing in humanity must also take into consideration the effects of the debt burden on nations, which has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “We cannot invest in humanity without relieving our countries from the crushing effects of the debt burden, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the risk of worsening countries’ debt portfolios. poor.
“These nations are allocating more and more resources to the service and repayment of external debt at the expense of health, education and other services that contribute to the general well-being of their populations.”
Describing the summit as a credible forum for interaction between the public and private sectors, to explore ways to advance economic growth, development and global prosperity, the president said Nigeria’s diversification efforts continue to grow. bear fruit, especially in agriculture.
President Buhari told the assembly of world leaders, global investors and asset managers that the oil sector is already undergoing reform that would make it more attractive and inclusive.
He said, “Two months ago, I signed the Petroleum Industry Act. The Act will serve as a catalyst to liberalize our petroleum sector. It introduced a number of incentives such as tax exemptions, 100% ownership, zero interest loans, and easy money transfer. In addition, we have a highly skilled workforce in the country and a large domestic market.
“In the mining sector, we have also made several opportunities available to investors. Nigeria is a country rich in gold, iron ore, tin, zinc, cobalt, lithium, limestone, phosphate, bitumen and many more. We have streamlined the licensing process and made significant investments in rail and transportation.
“Investments in infrastructure represent great potential for investors in Nigeria. We have opportunities in seaports, rail, toll roads, real estate, renewables and many more. We have created several institutions available to co-invest with you in Nigeria.
“We have the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and more recently I approved the creation of the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria. These institutions are managed as independent world class institutions to make investments in the country and are available to co-invest with you ”.
The Nigerian leader called for greater interest in infrastructure such as health care and education, which “present enormous opportunities for investors in a country of our size.”