Nigeria is to further deepen collaboration with the Business Council for International Understanding, BCIU.
Speaking at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum, held on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, President Buhari pledged his administration’s continued commitment to maintaining an enabling business environment that would be friendly to foreign investors.
President Buhari told the gathering that the United States was Nigeria’s main trading partner and one of her most important diplomatic partners, underscoring the need for concerted efforts to increase the volume of bilateral trade.
He said in 2020, Nigeria exported over 1.69 billion dollars worth of goods to the US, adding that the exports were primarily made up of crude oil and other petroleum products.
The President told them that Nigeria’s capability was not limited to the oil and gas industry, but that a variety of other sectors had notable potential.
Appraising the business executives on the current administration’s economic policy, the President said since 2015, the focus had been on economic diversification.
He said successfully, the economy was on a path of sustainable and inclusive growth through an open, rules-based and market-oriented way of doing business.
The President emphasised that his major objectives for the forum was to garner support from the BCIU for Nigeria’s most high-impact developmental ambitions of driving strategic and financial investment into Nigeria’s real-sector transformation, and rightly positioning her as a major international supply-chain partner to leading global economies like the United States.
According to the President, global supply chains are currently facing a challenging time as U.S. shippers have been under strain caused by reduced inputs from China and the growing backlog of European imports caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
He said the world had not fully recovered from the economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, observing that the calamity had taught the importance of having viable alternatives when traditional supply chains are unable to serve dire needs.
The President noted that the current global challenges were expected to continue into 2023 and beyond, stressing however that Nigeria is ready to fill a greater amount of global demand.
Expressing confidence that the situation in the world today had presented an opportunity for real sector investment in Nigeria, the President noted that since signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Nigeria had strengthened her position as a gateway to an integrated continental market, consisting of 1.3 billion consumers with an aggregate GDP of 3.4 trillion dollars.
President Buhari listed fiscal investment incentives formulated to encourage increased private capital inflows into Nigeria, which include three to five years of tax holidays for enterprises deemed as pioneer industries, tax-free operations, and no-restrictions on expatriate quotas in the country’s Free Trade Zones, capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering; and a VAT regime of 5 percent.
Report by Abdullah Bello,Edited by Grace Namiji