Nigerian ambassador promotes
'7 Point Agenda', lures investors
Published Date: May 12, 2009
By Chidi Emmanuel, Staff writer
KUWAIT: As part of the efforts to promote the Nigerian government's Seven Point Agenda, Ahmed Gusau Bala, the Nigerian Ambassador in Kuwait highlighted the key programs lined up to make Nigeria one of the greatest economies in 2020. At a press briefing held at the Nigerian embassy yesterday, the ambassador, addressed the Seven Point Agenda which include - energy, security, wealth and job creation, education, land reform, mass transit and the Niger Delta issue.
On energy, he said that government has managed to sustain the power generation between 2700-3000 megawatts. "The plan is to generate 6,000 megawatts by December this year and 10,000 megawatts by the end of 2011, with the ultimate goal of producing 25,0000 megawatts by 2020," Bala added.
With regards to the tense situation in the Niger Delta, the diplomat said that the present administration has taken it upon itself to address the issue once and for all. "The aim of the Seven points agenda is primarily to create employment opportunities and engage our youths meaningfully so as to deter them from taking violence as a source of livelihood," the ambassador said.
He expressed with dismay the security situation in the Niger Delta region (Nigerian oil producing areas) adding that government and the local communities are working earnestly to arrest the situation. According to the diplomat, a Niger Delta Ministry has been set up just to address the situation there. He added that the situation is not as bad as it is being portrayed by the foreign media. "Nigeria is safe and stable," he insisted.
Turning to the reforms, the diplomat pointed out some of the major reforms which include a 'total war' against corruption and other financial crimes and also Nigeria's involvement as the main player in maintaining regional peace in Africa. On the economy, the ambassador revealed that government has identified what it calls 'the enablers' that will ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the strongest economies by 2020.
Other sectors were not left alone as he unveiled other investment opportunities in telecommunications, tourism, aviation, railways, shipping, iron and steel, solid minerals and gas sectors. He hinted that the government is working out on various attractive incentives to lure investors. Also on the pipeline is a tax-exemption with import and export duties for potential investors.
He urged foreign investors to join the likes of Zain and Etisalat (who are presently operating in Nigeria) and experience an eco-friendly and market-friendly environment. "Take this ample opportunity and make a jolly trip to Nigeria and see the lush vegetation, beautiful beaches and captivating cultures. With a population of 140 million, Nigeria provides a ready market for goods and services. The return from capital investment in Nigeria is reputed to be the highest in world. Foreign investors are reaping
bountifully from their investment in Nigeria," Bala said.
On bilateral Nigeria-Kuwait ties, the diplomat said that both countries have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations for decades. "Nigeria and Kuwait belong to UN, OIC and OPEC among others. We admire Kuwait's democratic principles, its vibrant economy and rich cultural heritage," he said. He lauded the effort of Kuwait leaders in maintaining peace and tranquility in this region.
The ambassador in his goodwill message reaffirmed the embassy's commitment to Kuwait media. He urged the media to help in promoting the image of Nigeria and not darkening it. "Journalists are the engineers of people opinion. Readers, viewers and listeners depend on the pieces of information they get in their judgments", he added. The ambassador urged all to perceive Nigeria in a new light and put aside all the stereotypes, misinformation, prejudice and wrong assertions.
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