The Nation Newspaper
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has secured major investment commitments and economic cooperation from three of world’s largest economies.
He got commitments from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expand their investment frontiers in Nigeria.
The pledge was in acknowledgment of the policies initiated by the Tinubu administration to reboot the economy.
Tinubu held business talks and stepped up bilateral engagements with key economic partners on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit which closed yesterday in New Delhi, India.
He shared ideas with the leaders, outlining key opportunities on investments and sustainable development.
Tinubu was building on the momentum of the $14 billion investment pipeline secured during his earlier Presidential roundtable with Indian investors.
The President took advantage of the summit to create a deeper Euro-Asia connection for Africa’s largest economy, outlining Nigeria’s competitive advantages amid ongoing reforms.
Germany – Europe’s largest economy, South Korea – Asia’s fourth largest economy and India – Asia’s global giant formally endorsed the Tinubu reforms with initial promises of increased economic cooperation and investments.
The partners agreed to bilateral discussions on key areas of focus, which the President identified to include; agriculture, financial technology, education, manufacturing, defence, information and communication technology and oil and gas, among others.
During the talks with Chancellor Scholz, Tinubu discussed how to expand existing German investments and drive new deals across the sectors.
According to a statement by his spokesman Ajuri Ngelale, the President said: “It is not, for us, only a matter of designing the financial architecture for an expanded economic partnership.
“It is also about the practicality of aligning the perspectives of your large-scale manufacturers, such as Volkswagen and others, with the reality of the new incentives my government is putting in place for them to come and prosper across multiple value chains and sectors inside of our country.”
Scholz responded by acknowledging the mutually-beneficial nature of an increase in the scale of economic ties with Africa’s largest economy, especially in view of ongoing economic reforms.
He said: “Thank you for this important discussion, Mr. President. I can appreciate this opportunity to advance our economic relations. Your market is unique and our companies have history in Nigeria. We acknowledge the business friendly reforms you have put in place. I am happy to inform you of my desire to visit you in Nigeria in October, which will allow us to carry forward these initiatives.”
The statement said Tinubu gave his nod to the German Chancellor’s request to visit Nigeria to consolidate their talks.
President Suk Yeol praised Tinubu’s regional leadership in upholding democratic tenets and norms, with a promise to explore opportunities in many key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He listed Nigeria’s education, technology and energy sectors as areas of utmost interest to South Korean investors, promising to mobilise the business community to take advantage of new Nigerian incentives for local industry.
“I wish to commend your strong leadership, following the peaceful transfer of power to you from your predecessor and we see a stable country in West Africa that is growing in stature,” Suk Yeol was quoted as saying.
Tinubu restated Nigeria’s readiness to increase the scale of economic relationship with South Korea by listing practical steps that could quicken deals in many sectors.
He said: “We will leave nothing hanging. We will finalise what we agree to and we will execute. We will work point by point with you to secure rapidly implementable MoUs across sectors of partnership that will involve the active presence of your biggest firms, not just in terms of Nigerian consumption, but in local Nigerian production, from telecommunications to technology, and oil and gas.”
The president offered an invitation to host Modi in Nigeria as the prime minister did to him during the G-20 Summit in India.
Tinubu said: “There are many lessons our nation can learn from the rapid progress that India has made under your leadership.
“We see fantastic opportunity between our nations across sectors, such as agricultural development, but specifically, there is more we can do to advance ICT innovation and the emergence of blue-chip fintech growth in Africa. Nigeria has the local players who can drive it from the front.”
Affirming India’s readiness to foster greater economic partnership with Nigeria, the Indian leader thanked Tinubu for inviting him.
Modi said: “Our teams must now stay close in touch to detail our priority areas of upscaled cooperation with respect to agriculture, defence industries capacity building, and even fintech growth.
“We believe there are immense prospects for Nigeria in the UPI-Unified Payments Interface and we will ensure that we come together and make progress on these fronts very rapidly.”
Ngelale stated that his boss also had substantive, informal exchanges of views with the United States (U.S.) President, Joe Biden; European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen and World Bank President, Ajay Banga, among others, on the sideline of the G-20 Summit.