‘Show­case com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage to at­tract in­vest­ment’

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Fran­cis Arinze Iloani

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.

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