Mr. Peter Obi, has said efforts of the Federal Government in seeking foreign investors abroad is waste of time if environment for businesses to thrive is not put in place.
This is coming on the heels of President Bola Tinubu’s statement on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States, where he told American entrepreneurs to feel free and safe to invest in Nigeria.
At the Nigeria-U.S. Executive Business Round table, the president, listed measures he said he had taken to boost confidence of the global investment community in Nigeria, which included forming the fiscal, monetary and tax policy environment.
According to him: “Nigeria is an opportunity that is impossible to replicate or find elsewhere in any part of the world. We have brilliant young people who both innovate and consume at a large scale. Our entrepreneurial spirit is a major part of what makes our market totally unique, aside from demography.
“Nigerians build businesses and Nigerian businesses partner with other businesses to conduct larger business. There is enough value to spread around. Be careful of what you hear about Nigeria. You may be dissuaded out of a major opportunity that others will take up. We are here for you. We will give you all the support you need to succeed and succeed abundantly.”
But speaking at an event in Enugu, Obi said foreign investors were like bees and honey and a government that does not know where the country is going is wasting time going abroad to seek investors.
“I came back here and told someone that you don’t go looking for foreign investors. Anyone going around looking for foreign investors is wasting everyone’s time. Foreign investors are like bees and honey. If you put honey here, how the bees will converge, no one will tell you. After the G20 meeting, Emmanuel Macron, French president flew to Bangladesh because the country had just ordered 10 Airbus 350s, so he had to go and see them. If you look at all the economic analysis, go and look at where Bangladesh would be in 2030 and up to 2050. But no one knows where we are going to be.
“A deputy governor was asked why he didn’t go to school and he said it doesn’t matter. But he filled it. He was the one who said, ‘I went to this school’, no one forced you. If you know that schools don’t matter, you would have said, ‘I didn’t go to school’, so that we would imagine your ingenuity as someone who didn’t go to school and was able to get to that level.
“We are now in a country where people say one thing and do something else. I asked a woman to stand on the queue and she told me that whenever she stands in a queue, she doesn’t get anything. This happened to me last year. After the tribunal decided our case, I called the woman and apologised to her. We had someone going round the world and saying that the election would be the best. It was from INEC that I heard what is called ‘real time’. Suddenly, he says he can do the election anyhow. Why didn’t you tell us this before the election, so that when we are voting, we can also behave anyhow?” Obi queried.