‘Showcase comparative advantage to attract investment’
Only by showcasing the country’s comparative advantages to the world can foreign investors come to Nigeria to invest in Nigeria’s economy.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Babachir Lawal, who gave the charge while speaking on the sidelines of the annual conference of Institute of Directors, IoD in Abuja, said the global investment drive has become very competitive since all countries of the world are looking for investors.
Lawal was represented by a Permanent Secretary in the office of the SGF, Mr. Muhammed Abbas, at the conference themed ‘’Ensuring Sustainable Investment in Nigeria Through Global Best Practices’’.
He said “When you have products to sell, you don’t wait for customers to come. Nobody will sell you, you have to sell yourself. To do this, you have to go look for investors, tell them what you have to offer and what they stand to gain by investing with you. So it is for you to lure them because the investment drive globally is very competitive.
On the significance of the conference, the SGF said it would ensure that corporate governance was upheld both in the private and public sectors.
He added, “We have to institutionalise corporate governance in our social lives and in the corporate world. The IOD has been doing a good job over the years to inculcate in the managements of public and private organisations the virtues of accountability, transparency, equity and respect for due process.”
In his speech, the President/Chairman of Council, Institute of Directors, IoD, Mr. Samuel Yemi Akeju identified problems of economic diversification, infrastructural decay, educational and technological skills acquisition and unabated issues of security and the rule of law continues to challenge the nation as major constraints in attracting investors to Nigeria.
He regretted that in-spite of the efforts of past governments to attract investment into the Nigerian economy, the aforementioned problems continue restraint inflow of foreign investors.
He noted that, ‘’At the end of the Millennium Development Goals period, it is clear that Nigeria did not meet most of the targets and is being rated 170 out of 183 countries in terms of conditions of doing business’’
According to the IoD President, as the world transmits, Nigeria needs to review, reflect and re-strategize on how best to move and ensure sustainable leadership position not only among the MINT countries but in the world economy at large
“IoD Nigeria is to create an annual platform that brings together top level directors and business leaders for the purpose of thought sharing, corporate brainstorming on salient national and international economic and development issues with a view to proffering feasible solutions that would advance the cause of progressive development in Nigeria.
“As the leading voice and prime advocacy Institute that promotes corporate leadership and professionalism in the Nigerian business environment and interfaces with government in forming friendly business policies, IoD Nigeria champions the entrenchment of corporate governance in Nigeria, our membership cuts across various sectors of the economy and profession’’, the president noted.
He disclosed that the Institute has concluded plans to entrench good corporate governance and best ethical standards in business and workplaces as well as to ensure sound management of resources in private and public institutions and organizations
'’In this regard, a plan of action is already in motion to get the Institute Chartered and make membership of IoD Nigeria a per-requisite for Board appointment in the country’s business environment’’, he said. In his message also, the Director-General of the Institute of Directors in the United Kingdom, Simon Walker said capitalism is the best way to transform a society.
“It is the engine of social progress, generate all the wealth to pay for public goods and creating the technology that enables us to provide for the world’s burgeoning population, thanks to capitalism, life expectancy is up, infant mortality is down, education is richer, horizons are broader, environmental awareness is greater and global cooperation is possible,’’he said.