President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed delight that investments in improving security are yielding good dividends.

The President equally lauded the Nigeria military for making significant progress in the fight against insecurity and building the momentum in reducing challenges to its barest minimum.

Speaking at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York, the President pledged that the Federal Government would do more to improve security, recognising that the sector is another critical element in the flow of investment, and overall economic and infrastructural development.

President Buhari also declared that in spite of the global crisis fuelled by the Ukraine-Russian war, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and insurgence in some parts of the country, Nigeria was on course to taking her rightful place in the global economy.

He attributed the country’s success story to the implementation of reforms aimed at attracting foreign investments and sustained improvement in governance.

President Buhari noted that the quarterly GDP growth in the 1st Quarter of 2022 has been mostly driven by the non-oil sector, giving credence to the revenue source diversification agenda of the government.

The President, however, acknowledged that more still needed to be done to improve private capital flows into Nigeria through Foreign Direct Investment and financing for infrastructure, affirming that the administration is leveraging the Integrated National Financing Strategy to address this.

On growth driven by the non-oil sector, the President said the agricultural sector, the most important, had remained resilient despite security concerns, low irrigation, limited inputs, and legacy infrastructure challenges, with strong food demand bolstering growth.

He observed that growth in manufacturing had reflected stronger household and business consumption on account of the reopening of economic activities and improvement in supply chains.

Similarly, the President said the present growth in the nation’s service sector was promising, adding that further privatisation, foreign investment, globalisation, and competition will serve to stimulate growth and competition in the service sector and the economy in general.

On the domestic front, President Buhari said the Federal Government was taking some bold, decisive, and urgent action to address revenue underperformance, and improve operations to make an investment in Nigeria very attractive.

President Buhari assured that the Nigerian economy was ripe for increased investment.

“But on the contrary, private capital flows into Nigeria, consisting mainly of Foreign Direct Investment, have slowed, hindering the financing of much-needed infrastructure and natural resource access projects. Our Administration is already working on innovative ways to restore these flows.

The President who was represented at the opening session by the Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, told the international economic forum attended by the President of African Development Bank, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, and Florie Laser of the Corporate Council on Africa, among others that a key strategy being adopted to improve infrastructure financing was the Integrated National Financing Strategy.

He explained that the strategy would seek to identify ways to expand the financing envelope of the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria and enhance the sustainable development impact of financing by seeking to integrate and align public and private financial policies, regulatory frameworks, instruments, and business processes with sustainable development.

The President, who noted that the private sector would play a significant role in the strategy, also mentioned other efforts by his administration to improve the nation’s economic and development outlook, such as Nigeria’s National Development Plan 2021 – 2025 and the Presidential Power Initiative.

Bello Wakili