By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Federal Government has expressed readiness to provide incentives for investors willing to invest in parts of the country bedeviled by security challenges. Making the disclosure while briefing State House correspondents at the weekly Ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team, on Thursday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, said the federal government would spare no effort to return Nigeria to its rightful position.
He said: “One of the things that we keep harping on is the fact that we have the largest individual population in Africa, we are the largest markets in Africa; out of the 1.3 billion African market, over 200 million is Nigeria.
“So, anybody that wants to do business in Africa, we always say you should take advantage of that market. There’s no better place to start than Nigeria, because you have ready market in Nigeria, and Nigeria is a hub.
“And another thing that we’re doing; maybe I should mention this as well, we are looking at when people want to invest, everybody wants to invest in a safe area. So, to make it attractive for you to invest in a place that is not so safe, we will be giving various incentives.
“For instance, we invite you and we say come and invest in the northwest, and you say there’s a security problem there. We say, there is no problem.
“However, if you invest a certain amount of money, these are the incentives that we will give you to enable you go and invest and this is beginning to reap benefit because people are beginning to show interest in that kind of thing.”
Speaking on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Chief Adeniyi Adebayo revealed that schedules for commitment in trade and services between Nigeria and ECOWAS are being compiled for submission to the AfCFTA secretariat.
He pointed out that although trading under the AfCFTA was flagged off on January 1, 2021, trading can only commence once the AfCFTA services are codified by the Customs and other relevant regulators.
“The essence of the agreement is to create a single market and promote easy movement of goods and services within the 55 member states of the Africa Union.
“The Federal Government is well prepared for AfCFTA and a number of measures have been implemented through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment,” Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, a former Ekiti Governor, said.
Persecondnews recalls that the current insecurity challenges are the main reasons Nigeria fell off the list of top 10 preferred investment destinations in Africa.