Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, has commended organisers of the Fair for introducing the investment forum, noting that the new innovative forum would provide opportunities for businesses to interact and proffer solutions to our economy.Abubakar, who gave this commendation in Eko Hotel, Lagos, while declaring this year’s International Investment Conference open, stated that such forum had become imperative; since it could provide direction for the nation’s policy formulators.
She added that the Investment Conference would enable organisers draw attention to investment opportunities in the non-oil sector.
While insisting on the need for the private and the public sectors of the nation’s economy to regularly interact, the honourable minister noted that, with the present state of the nation’s economy, the country is left with no other option than to diversify from oil and involve all those who could facilitate the diversification.
As a way of integrating the small scale enterprises into the diversification agenda, the minister said the government had been strategising on how best to ensure the nation’s MSME take its rightful position as a main engine of economic growth.
She further disclosed that the present administration had continued with Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan as one of the major factors to revive the economy of the country.
“To this end, the Federal Government has approved the establishment of Presidential Council for the purpose of ease of doing business,” she stated.
She added that other efforts of the ministry toward the diversification and development of the economy include development of trade zones, development of export and inport substitution as well as formulation of some specific policy programmes that would facilitate ease of doing business.
She however expressed optimism that the Conference would give insights to some of those business opportunity that could be explored, apart from oil, to boost the nation’s economy.
In his good will message, the representative of UNIDO, Dr Reuben Bamidele, said that the current state of Nigerian economy requires massive injection of local and foreign investments to boost the level of economic activities in the country.
He stressed the need to rejig existing businesses, while advocating further investments to develop new enterprises.
“The business of local and foreign investment mobilisation need to be pursued with vigour. We must not lose sight of the fact that investors are not particularly averse to any particular country or region. On the contrary, they move to where returns on investment are highest in their quest to maximize profits,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Trade Promotion Board of LCCI, Mr. Sola Oyetayo, stated that the 2016 Investment Conference, the second in the series, is aimed at drawing attention to the need for repositioning the economy towards the diversification agenda of the federal government.
According to him, this year’s edition of the Fair had attracted local and international companies from China, Egypt, Japan, Ghana, Kenya and Cameroon.
He said the investment conference, which represents a major calendar of the Trade Fair, provided opportunity for corporate and business – to- business exhibition and in depth interractions.