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Jonathan to visit Switzerland, Ethiopia on investment drive

By The Citizen
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President Goodluck Jonathan will embark on a working visit to Switzerland and Ethiopia today with engagements in Geneva and Davos which are intended to draw the attention of members of the international business finance community to Nigeria's immense investment potentials.

A statement signed by Dr Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, yesterday, said President Jonathan was leading a drive to attract greater foreign expertise and capital, to boost the Federal Government's efforts to rapidly modernize and positively transform Nigeria's agricultural sector.

The statement said  the president would meet with an Eminent Persons Group on Nigeria's Transformation Agenda in Geneva, tomorrow.

Abati listed members of the group to include Mr. Bill Gates;  former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kofi Annan; President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze; President of the Africa Development Bank, Mr. Donald Kaberuka and Chairman of the Del Monte Produce Group, Mr. Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh.

He said the President would at a special session of the annual meeting of the world's leading businessmen and industrialists at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday also promote new incentives for investment in Nigeria's agricultural sector targeted at attracting greater international support for the establishment of a more successful and profitable agro-allied industry in the country.

According to him, the session will also focus on ongoing policy and institutional reforms in the sector, the establishment of staple crop processing zones and medium to long term financing options for agriculture in Nigeria.

President Jonathan who will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Adewunmi Adesina; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He is also scheduled to host a private session with representatives of leading multinational companies under the auspices of the Business Interactive Group on Nigeria.

Abati noted: 'The President will also seize the opportunity of his participation in special sessions of the World Economic Forum entitled 'De-Risking Africa' and 'Africa's Promise' to draw fresh global attention to the great opportunities which ongoing reforms and deregulation, privatisation and commercialisation of former public sector monopolies have opened up for willing investors in key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as oil and gas, power supply, communications, transportation and agriculture.'

The presidential spokesman added that the President Jonathan will meet privately with the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Norway, the President of Costa Rica and the Chief Executive Officers of the Huawei Technologies Company, Total and Coca-Cola Worldwide on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

From Switzerland, the President is expected to leave for Ethiopia on Friday for the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa where he will confer with other African leaders on action to resolve the boundary dispute between Sudan and South Sudan as well as fresh and ongoing initiatives to restore peace, security, political stability and normalcy to Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.