President Muhammadu Buhari has urged world leaders and investors to devote more time and resources to the advancement of humane policies and practices that will contribute to global peace and stability.
Buhari stated that this would help in dealing with the world’s rising tensions and violence.
The president delivered his remarks at the start of a three-day “Future Investment Initiative Summit” in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
He advocated debt relief for troubled economies, especially in the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic.
Buhari emphasized that the rising global social unrest was the result of deteriorating social inequalities and unequal distribution of wealth and resources, which he claimed denied the majority of people the opportunity to participate.
He claimed that the only way to avoid further escalation of global social unrest was for governments and private sector stakeholders to start making “humane investments” that would include the majority of people in the growth and development loop.
According to the president, his administration will continue to encourage public and private investment in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change, and food security.
Our economic reforms, which emphasize “humane” investments, are ideal for investors seeking profitable returns while having a positive impact on citizens.
“I am convinced that historical underinvestment in ‘humane projects’ is the root cause of the majority of today’s insecurity and socioeconomic challenges.”
Buhari stated that the Nigerian perspective on the summit’s theme, “Investing in Humanity,” would be to focus on people-oriented development policies, with a shift away from oil and toward more inclusive sectors such as agriculture, information, and communications technology (ICT), and mining.
He also stated that his government was focusing on fighting corruption, insecurity, and climate change, as well as implementing social investment programs.
This is why we believe that public-private partnerships in Nigeria should prioritize investments in health, education, capacity building, youth empowerment, gender equality, poverty eradication, climate change, and food security.” When we took office in 2015, we recognized right away that inclusive and humane policies were critical to our country’s long-term peace and stability.
He emphasized that humane investment practices were the only way to address the global challenges that had arisen as a result of the pandemic.
“We must maintain our efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce its negative socio-economic impact on our societies, as well as build resilience and achieve recovery,” he says.
The president stated that investments in humanity must take into account nations’ debt burden, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These countries are increasingly allocating resources to external debt servicing and repayment at the expense of health, education, and other services that contribute to the overall well-being of their populations.”
Buhari told the audience that Nigeria’s efforts to diversify its economy, particularly in agriculture had borne fruit.
We provided smallholder farmers with loans and technical assistance through the Anchor Borrowers Program.”
As a result, Nigeria now has more than 40 rice mills, compared to fewer than ten in 2014.”
Furthermore, Nigeria now has more than 46 active fertilizer blending plants, up from fewer than five in 2014.
In addition, we have reformed the process of obtaining inputs such as fertilizer and seeds in agriculture.”
We have several million hectares of arable land available and have started the process of creating Special Agriculture Processing Zones across the country.
We believe that these initiatives will make it easier for agricultural investors.”
According to the president, the oil industry is being reformed to make it more appealing and inclusive.
“I signed the Petroleum Industry Act two months ago,” he told the global investment community.
The Act will serve as a catalyst for the liberalization of the petroleum sector in the United States.
It has put in place a number of incentives, such as tax breaks, 100 percent ownership, zero-interest loans, and simple fund transfers.
We also have a highly skilled in-country workforce and a sizable domestic market.”
In addition, we have made several mining opportunities available to investors.
Nigeria has deposits of gold, iron ore, tin, zinc, cobalt, lithium, limestone, phosphate, bitumen, and other minerals.
We’ve simplified the licensing process and invested heavily in rail and transportation.”
Infrastructure investments hold a lot of promise for Nigerian investors.
“We have openings in seaports, rail, toll roads, real estate, renewable energy, and a variety of other industries.”
“In Nigeria, we have established a number of institutions that are willing to co-invest with you.”
There is the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, and I recently approved the formation of the Nigeria Infrastructure Corporation.
“These institutions are managed as independent world-class institutions with the goal of investing in the country and are willing to co-invest with you.”
He advocated increased infrastructure investment in areas such as healthcare and education, which he described as “huge opportunities for investors in a country our size.”
“The digital economy in Nigeria has many investment opportunities,” Buhari said, pointing out that it was the fastest-growing sector in both 2020 and 2021.
Nigeria offers numerous opportunities for investment in broadband, ICT hardware, emerging technology, and software engineering. “We just passed a national policy on the Fifth Generation (5G) network.”
Our goal is to attract investors in industries such as healthcare, smart cities, and smart agriculture, to name a few.
Real-time communication will benefit all other sectors of the economy.”
On October 25, the president announced the launch of “e-Naira, the electronic version of our national currency, putting us on track to become the first African country to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency,” with the goal of further improving and repositioning Nigeria’s economy to attract investors.” We believe that this and other reforms will help us increase the number of people who participate in the banking sector, make the financial sector more efficient, and combat illicit financial flows,” he said.
“We have centralized government funds through a Treasury Single Account and mandated that all Nigerians with bank accounts use a unique Bank Verification Number to strengthen our anti-corruption drive and increase accountability and transparency” (BVN).
“These initiatives, together with our nationwide National Identification Number (NIN) exercise, bolster our efforts to combat corruption and fraud.”
We believe that this will give investors a lot of peace of mind.”
He also informed world leaders about the devastating effects of climate change on the livelihoods of people living in the Lake Chad region.
“As we strive to build resilience toward a sustainable economy in our respective countries,” he added, “let us not forget the negative impact of climate change on our efforts to achieve this goal.”
Climate change is already causing problems in Nigeria and other African countries.”Climate change has resulted in conflicts, food insecurity, irregular youth migration, rising sea levels, drought and desertification, and Lake Chad drying up.”
“Climate change is largely to blame for the drying up of Lake Chad, which has shrunk by more than 85 percent of its original size in the Lake Chad Basin region, where the Boko Haram insurgency continues to threaten the region’s peace, security, and development.”
“The lake’s shrinking size is to blame for the loss of millions of livelihoods, the displacement of residents, and the radicalization of the region’s teeming youths who are recruited to serve as foot soldiers in the insurgency.”
“A strong public private partnership with massive investments will be required to recharge Lake Chad’s waters in order to correct this situation and restore the fortunes of the Lake Chad Basin region.”
I am confident that this forum will rise to the occasion in the interests of our region’s long-term peace and development.”