2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Buhari has expressed hope that e-Naira “ll help tackle money laundering
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed hope that the recently launched eNaira would buoy and reposition Nigeria’s economy to attract investors.
He also said the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Bank Verification Number (BVN), and National Identification Number (NIN) initiatives have reinforced his administration’s efforts in tackling corruption.
Speaking at the fifth edition of Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Buhari assured that his administration would encourage public and private initiatives that increases investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change and food security.
“e-Naira, the electronic version of our national currency, which puts us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency was launched on October 25th, 2021. We believe this and many other reforms, will help us increase the number of people participating in the banking sector, make for a more efficient financial sector and help us tackle illicit flow of funds. To further strengthen our anti-corruption drive, increase accountability and transparency, we have centralised government funds through a Treasury Single Account, and ensuring that all Nigerians with a bank account use a unique Bank Verification Number (BVN). These initiatives, coupled with our nationwide National Identification Number (NIN) exercise, reinforce our efforts to tackle corruption and fraud. We believe that this should give investors a lot of comfort.”
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The president, who described the summit as a credible forum for interaction between public and private sectors, to explore ways of advancing economic growth, development and global prosperity, said Nigeria’s diversification efforts have continued to yield results, particularly in agriculture.
“We introduced policies that supported investments in agriculture and food processing. We provided loans and technical support to small holder farmers, through the Anchor Borrowers Programme. As a result, Nigeria today has over 40 rice mills from less than 10 in 2014. Nigeria also has over 46 active fertiliser blending plants from less than 5 in 2014.
“Furthermore, in agriculture, we have reformed the process of obtaining inputs such as fertiliser and seeds. We have several million hectares of available arable land and have embarked on the creation of Special Agriculture Processing Zones across the country. These initiatives we believe will make it easier for investors in agriculture,” he said.
President Buhari told the gathering of world leaders, global investors and asset managers that the oil sector was already undergoing a reform that would make it more attractive and inclusive.
“Two months ago, I signed the Petroleum Industry Act. The Act will serve as a catalyst to liberalise our petroleum sector. It has introduced a number of incentives such as tax holidays, 100 percent ownership, zero interest loans and easy transfer of funds. In addition, we have highly skilled in-country workforce and a large domestic market. In mining, we have also made several opportunities available for investors. Nigeria is a country rich in minerals from gold, iron ore, tin, zinc, cobalt, lithium, limestone, phosphate, bitumen and many others. We have made the licensing process easier and also made extensive investments in rail and transportation.
“Infrastructure investments represent significant potential for investors in Nigeria. We have opportunities in seaports, rail, toll roads, real estate, renewable energy and many others. We have created several institutions that are available to co-invest with you in Nigeria. We have the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and more recently, I approved the creation of Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria. These institutions are run as independent world class institutions to make investments in the country and are available to co-invest with you.”
Buhari urged more interest in infrastructure such as healthcare and education, which “present enormous opportunities for investors in a country our size.”
The president also drew attention of world leaders to the devastating effect of climate change on livelihoods of people around the Lake Chad.
“As we strive to build resilience towards a sustainable economy in our various countries, let us not forget the negative impact of climate change on our efforts to achieve this goal. Nigeria and many countries in Africa, are already facing the challenges posed by climate change. Climate change has triggered conflicts, food insecurity, irregular youth migration, rising level of sea waters, drought and desertification, as well as the drying-up of the Lake Chad.
“In the Lake Chad Basin region, where Boko Haram insurgency continues to undermine the peace, security and development of the region, climate change is largely responsible for the drying up of the Lake Chad which has shrunk by more than 85 per cent its original size. The diminishing size of the lake is at the root of the loss of millions of livelihoods, displacement of inhabitants and radicalisation of teeming youths in the region who are recruited to serve as foot soldiers in the insurgency.
“In order to redress this situation and restore the lost fortunes of the Lake Chad Basin region, strong public-private partnership through massive investments will be needed to recharge the waters of Lake Chad. I am confident that this forum will rise to the challenge in the interest of durable peace and sustainable devel opment of our region.”
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