Uduaghan, in London, tells investors Nigeria is a profitable haven
With the deepening of the privatization of state enterprises and
investment in the development of critical infrastructure, Nigeria now
offers the best destination for investments in Africa, Delta State
governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has said.
Speaking in London where he addressed British investors at the Institute
of Directors (IOD), Uduaghan said the Nigerian government has effected a
paradigm shift from reliance on crude oil as the driver of the economy.
According to him, investment in power sector, agriculture and
manufacturing offer investors new vistas with yields that may not be
obtainable anywhere else.
He spoke in a keynote speech at an event marking the Commonwealth Day
Observance Service and the Nigerian Centenary celebration Tuesday in
London and asked British investors looking to invest in Africa to come to
In Uduaghan's words, “there are strong reasons for anyone to invest in
Nigeria at this time, because the country is a haven for profitable
“There is a bright future for Nigeria in terms of investment. The
environment is right and is truly a destination for those investors
heading to Africa.”
Uduaghan who spoke on “Perspectives on Sustainable Development in
Nigeria's Delta: The Delta Beyond Oil Initiative” said while oil remained
a major resource, “we recognise its finite characteristic and that
dependence on it in the way we have done, since it started to create
wealth in the country would deny us other opportunities.
In a press release issued in London by the Delta State Commissioner for
Information, Chike Ogeah, who accompanied Uduaghan on the investment
drive, the governor illustrated the concept of his Delta Beyond Oil
initiative which has become a template for the transformation of Nigeria's
The initiative is designed to harness the potentials in other sectors of
the economy to boost agriculture, boost small and medium scale enterprises
and create employment.
“We know that examples abound around the world of countries that have
tapped mainly human endowment to jump to the front ranks of societies in
the world. The concept of Delta Beyond Oil was harnessed to mobilise the
citizens, statesmen, lawmakers, civil servants, college professors,
students, professionals, farmers and artisans that oil and gas may be good
for now, but the future belongs elsewhere in the powers of the mind to
generate wealth and well-being for ourselves and generations to come.”
Uduaghan said his government is providing enabling environment for
investment in Delta State by focusing on infrastructure and human capital
development as well as peace and security.
He told British investors at the meeting that the federal government has
been of tremendous support to the state as part of a drive to attract
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for the country as a whole.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria working closely with the Delta State
Government is also building a multi-million dollar landing jetty in
Okwagbe, a community located along the tributaries of the River Niger to
support the state's transport infrastructure,” he explained.
He listed one area where investors can partner with the state as tourism
sector. According to Uduaghan, investors are now taking the advantage of
the peaceful environment in Delta State to invest in tourism.
“Following our sustained drive in this area, a lot of tourism and
hospitality industries are now springing up in the state. The biggest is
the $240 million Delta Leisure Park by a private investor in partnership
with the state government. We are also encouraging medical tourism by
improving on the quality of secondary and tertiary hospitals just as we
are encouraging private investment in healthcare.”
The IOD Director General, Simon Walker praised Uduaghan and other Nigerian
leaders effort at repositioning the country for the future, saying “It has
been remarkable one hundred years for Nigeria. It is befitting that during
the centenary celebration we should celebrate Nigeria's economic progress,
the demography, the opportunities and the challenges that Nigeria face. I
have no doubt that during this century we will be talking about Nigeria as
one of the largest economy of the world.
I hope that our two countries can come together to take advantage of these
Also, Lord Watson of Richmond said, the population of Nigeria and its
diversity is what any investor should be concerned with. “When people
think about Nigeria, they don't think about the past, they focus entirely
on its present. That is of great importance. The population and diversity
are source of strength for any nation. Nigeria and its dynamic growth and
population are something that is in the mind of everyone who thinks about
He explored the relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom as good
opportunity to consider by British investors saying, “our two nations are
characterised by diversity. There is always a tension between diversity
and unity, but the truth is we must tolerate each other and move beyond
tolerance to protection.
The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo who attended the event
impressed the audience with the strides that Nigeria is making in the
power sector with the privatisation of the electricity company.
He said that with the current investment in power plants in the country by
the government and the private sector, in a few months the power
generation and distribution in the country will make Nigeria the best
economy in Africa.