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FG TASKS HIIC ON INVESTOR CONFIDENCE

By NBF News

The Federal Government has charged the Honourary International Investor Council to support Nigeria to build investor confidence in the country.

This charge was made on Tuesday by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, during the 10th meeting of the Council, at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.

He decried the situation whereby European Union countries would not guarantee companies that were doing business in Nigeria.

He cited the example of the United Kingdom, which gave guarantees to companies in Ghana and other countries but not to those in Nigeria.

He therefore urged the members 'to support and partner government on building investor confidence in the country.'

A statement from the Office of the Vice-President said that there were huge opportunities for investment in all sectors in the country, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria had made available N500bn at single digit interest rate.

It quoted Sambo as saying that the government was committed to ensuring an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.

He said that government had made deliberate policies to ensure that the objectives were met.

In this light, he posited that government had put in place a new gas pricing policy to further bolster investors' interest in the oil and gas sector, adding that to ensure adequate security, machinery had been put in place to reform the Nigeria Police.

The vice-president said, 'To meet the huge financial requirements for infrastructural development, government is looking at various ways to organise and stratify funding for projects in its quest to achieve the laudable goals contained in the Vision 2020 programme.'

According to him, such ways include concessional fund from the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank and the Yen Credit Facility, among others.

He said other ways were through Public-Private Partnerships and bilateral funding.

Sambo noted that government needed the cooperation and support of the private sector to meet the developmental challenges of the country.

He said areas that needed urgent intervention included power, especially the hydro power projects in Zungeru and Mambilla.

He said the development of coal power plants, transportation, housing and urban development, construction of multipurpose dams, agriculture and port expansion, among others, were also important.

In her remarks, the Chairperson of the HIIC, Baroness Lynda Chalker, said that the Council had a good opportunity to take a number of key issues forward.

She further said that the Council had noticed a very significant change for the better in Nigeria, adding that it had seen a big leap forward.

Chalker used the occasion to assure Nigeria of the commitment of the council to improving investor confidence in the country.