Nigerian professionals in US chart course for investments


Nigerian professionals in the United States of America have inaugurated the Nigerian-American Business Forum to chart a way for Nigeria’s development.

The President of the group, Mr Kenneth Shobola, at the Lunch in Florida said the forum aimed to impact the wealth of experience of accomplished Nigerian Diasporas for the rapid development of their homeland.

He said the primary objective of the forum was to foster a safer investment environment for entrepreneurial business in Nigeria from the Diaspora and the globe.

Shobola regretted the high youth unemployment in the country, noting  that the Nigerian Diasporas had the opportunity to start changing the status quo.

He, however, commended the ingenuity of many Nigerians back home who had stayed back in the country and were contributing positively.

“Starting from now, we are rewriting our stories; there are several Nigerians that have stood out as employers of labour here in the U.S and also back home in Nigeria.

“We are starting to make the difference and engage the lives of the Nigerian youth.

“Negative news is what you tend to hear much about Nigeria and these get magnified but they represent just few Nigerians.

“Therefore, we are standing up to begin to step in to correct such negativity and change the narratives.

“Many Nigerian Diasporas have stood out not only about what they do in the Diaspora but they have returned home to impact on Nigeria.

“People of Nigeria’s descent have made landmark contributions to the U.S. and back home,” he said.

The World Bank projected the flow of 22 billion dollars into Nigeria through the 2017 Diaspora remittances as a contribution to the country’s growth and development, making it the world’s fifth largest.

The Health and Business Development Work Group, one of the professional committees inaugurated at the Nigerian-American Business Forum at Florida to come up with workable solutions to the health and business challenges in Nigeria.

The theme of the conference is : ‘Investing in Nigeria from the Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities’, focused on ways to apply the professionals’ wealth of experience to the country’s development challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the guest speakers at event included former Anambra Governor Peter Obi, President, Council of Nigerian Stock Exchange Abimbola Ogunbanjo, Senators Ben Murray-Bruce and Shaaba Lafiaji, and motivational speaker Fela Durotoye. (NAN)

The federal government would work with government of the United Kingdom to stimulate more direct private sector investments into Nigeria.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma, said this in Abuja at a meeting with a delegation from the British government led by the Secretary of State for International Development, Mrs Priti Patel.

He told the delegation that Nigerian Government was intensifying efforts at ensuring the ease of doing business in the country and would welcome more foreign investments.

Patel and her team are in Nigeria to have an on-the-spot appraisal of the situation in the North East to enable the British Government to decide on how to assist the Nigerian government in addressing the situation in the region, as well as other development initiatives.

Acknowledging the various interventions by the British Government in aid of Nigeria, the minister said the nation would appreciate more foreign aid from the British Government.

He said that Nigeria would be looking more in the area of investments from companies in UK.

Aside government’s efforts in ensuring the ease of doing business, he said the government has created industrial hubs in the six geo-political zones with basic facilities required for manufacturing to thrive smoothly.

The British government, he said, could help in encouraging manufacturers in the United Kingdom to take advantage of the special economic zones.

The minister said that the Federal Government was committed to creating a successful economy, pointing out that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan launched early this year was meant to serve as vehicle to drive government’s diversification policy.

Udoma said Federal Government had constituted an Inter-ministerial Task Force under the chairmanship of the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning to properly handle and coordinate humanitarian assistance efforts in the North East to ensure proper delivery and effective utilisation of funds and materials.

In her comments, Patel gave the assurance that the British Government would continue to assist Nigeria in addressing its humanitarian and developmental challenges.

She said her team would discuss further with the Federal Government to look at more proactive ways of dealing with the fallouts of the North East crisis.

She added that more work would be done in the areas of investment in education, international partnerships, capacity building, scaling up of farming in local communities among, other development issues. (NAN)