Buhari Woos Investors In US, says Nigeria Is Africa’s Largest Consumer Market

By Obinna Amaobi

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured investors of massive investment opportunities in Nigeria.

Buhari spoke at a dialogue session with some US investors, Nigerian officials, diplomats and as well as experts from the private sector in Washington DC, United States of America, on Friday.

The session, titled ‘The Presidential Dialogue: Nigeria Business and Investment Forum’, was held on the sidelines of the 2022 US Africa Leaders’ Summit.

Buhari said apart from the population advantage and demographics, various incentives and policies implemented by the Nigerian government have made the country a preferred choice for investment.

“It is therefore imperative that I reiterate at the outset, the comparative advantages that exist within Nigeria’s economy,” he said.

“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% 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.

“It would be expected to connect 1.3 billion people across 55 countries and a consumer market that will be worth over 3 trillion dollars by 2030, and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at 3.4 trillion dollars.

“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.”

He said the federal government is determined to improve the business environment through incentives, regulatory reform, and a business-friendly visa system.

The president said Nigeria, like other countries, is facing economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine as well as climate change.

He said in spite of the challenges, Nigeria witnessed seven consecutive quarters of growth, after the negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

“Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.54 per cent 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 per cent in Q2 2022 against Oil GDP that grew by -11.77%,” he said.

“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 said his government has made the energy sector a key priority, considering the need for adequate and sustainable electricity supply as a prerequisite for socio-economic and industrial development.

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