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Politics

Buhari Lures American Investors, Says Nigeria Remains Africa’s Largest Single Consumer Market

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told American Investors that Nigeria with its huge population advantage and demography as well as being Africa’s largest single consumer market, is the best place for investors to invest.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, said that Buhari stated this while speaking at the US – Nigeria Business and Investment Forum, Business Roundtable organized by the American Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on the margins of the US-Africa Leaders Summit,

The President noted that investors in the country can also leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), to spread their business tentacles.

“It is therefore, imperative that I reiterate at the outset, the comparative advantages that exist within the Nigeria’s economy. First as the most populous country and largest economy in Africa, there is no doubt that Nigeria remains Africa’s largest single consumer market, projected to account for over 15 percent of overall growth in Africa’s spending, by 2025. Secondly, investors in the country would have access to new markets under the African Continental Free Trade Area, (AfCTA), which would be the world’s largest free trade area, would be expected to connect 1.3 billion people across 55 countries and a consumer market that will be worth over $3 trillion by 2030, and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion,” he said.

According to Buhari, his administration has invested heavily in infrastructure since assuming office in 2015, adding that 21 selected Federal Roads, totaling 1,804.6 kilometers have been reconstructed.

He said: “Since 2015, when my administration assumed office, fixing of the infrastructural gaps needed for business to thrive in Nigeria, namely; roads, railways, air and sea ports, energy and telecommunications, constituted greater priorities for Government. Related to these conscious and practical efforts, is the resolve by our Administration to improve the business environment through business incentives, regulatory reforms and visa-regime that are business-friendly.

“The outcome of the massive efforts and investments by our administration in Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment, i.e. Road Construction and Rehabilitation, Investment Tax Credit Policy, led to the reconstruction of 21 selected Federal Roads, totaling 1,804.6 KM. With regards to railways, sea and air ports as well as energy, which are expected to facilitate movements of people, goods and services as well as sustain the stabilization of industries and their growth respectively.”

Buhari informed his audience that despite the global challenges caused by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, the Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.54 percent year-on-year in real terms in the 2nd Quarter of 2022.

“On economy, Nigeria like other countries , including the developed economies, is facing economic challenges, occasioned by the disruptions as a result of the Covid – 19 pandemic, the ongoing Ukraine war and the Climate Change, in which massive flooding is one (of) the manifestations. Notwithstanding these global challenges, Nigeria had witnessed seven (7) consecutive quarters of growth, after the negative growth rates recorded in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters of 2020. Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.54 percent year-on-year in real terms in the 2nd Quarter of 2022, which represents a sustained positive economic performance, especially for the Non-Oil GDP which fell by 4.77 percent in Q2 2022 against Oil GDP that grew by -11.77 percent,” he said.

“Statistics continue to indicate that most sectors of our economy recorded positive growth despite these challenges, which reflect the effective implementation of the economic sustainability measures introduced by our Administration. For our economy to favourably meet up the global digitization, Nigeria embraced Communication and Digital Economy. Already, the broadband coverage of the country stands at 44.32 percent and 77.52 percent. 4G coverage has also been achieved, with the establishment of 36,751 4G base stations nationwide.”

Buhari also stated that his administration has recorded success in the war against insurgency in the Northeast, and commended the US government for the support it has rendered to the country in this regard.

At COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021, Nigeria made commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. He reiterated the country’s commitment to this target, and listed his administration plans to meet Nigeria’s energy needs.

“In the pursuit of our energy development, Nigeria remains mindful of her commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060. In this regard, our administration launched an Energy Transition Plan (ETP) in September, 2022 aimed at meeting the national energy needs, in line with Nigeria’s net zero target. The Energy Transition Plan is a home-grown, data-backed, multipronged strategy developed for the achievement of net-zero emissions’ reduction across five (5) key sectors; Power, Cooking, Oil and Gas, Transport and Industry. The Energy Transition Plan (ETP) is therefore, a huge investment opportunity in the gas sector,” Buhari said.

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