21 February 2016, Lagos – The European Union (EU) has pledged to assist Nigeria attract the requisite investments that could aid ongoing efforts to diversify the economy.
Head of Delegation and EU Ambassador in Lagos, Mr. Mitchel Arrion who spoke at the opening of the ‘African Build Exhibition Lagos’ acknowledged that Nigeria is going through a very tough time given the recent dwindling revenues as crude oil prices continue to slide at the international market.
Arrion said the European Union is interested in encouraging member states invest in Nigeria but demands that the country reform some of its institutions to create the right environment to attract and sustain investments.
“We are aware of the falling oil prices globally and the impact on Nigeria,” said Arrion.
“But I am confident that Nigeria can diversify its economy. It is good for the EU to continue to look at Nigeria as a priority country. Investors want to come to Nigeria, but there is this uncertainty of what will happen next. For instance, the investor wants to be sure that he can enforce his rights with the Nigerian laws,” he noted.
Speaking at the same event, the German Consul General in Lagos, Mr. Ingo Herbert also acknowledged that the times might be tough for Nigeria but noted that the economy has to be diversified.
“Is the right place and this is the right time to invest in Nigeria. But we have to diversify the economy, boost production, and create wealth,” he added.
In his own contribution, the Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Lagos, Mr. Pablo Segrelles said the current economic crisis in Nigeria offered the best opportunity for investment in the country.
In his speech, President Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr. Tob Shuaib described the Afribuild Lagos 2016 hosted in Lagos as the ideal entry point for international investors into the industry in Nigeria.
According to him, the Nigerian construction industry has remained very vibrant over the past years and was currently worth about $69billion and employing about five per cent of the 180 million Nigerians.
Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ganiyu Johnson said increased investments in infrastructure is one way to boost the economy in this austere times.
“Investments in infrastructure always create jobs, enhance movement of goods, services and people, lead to redistribution of income and engender in a general way, an efficient and effective economic structure,” Johnson said.
- The Nation