An industrialist, Tony Elumelu, on Monday urged Nigerian and foreign investors to take advantage of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking of Nigeria to invest in the country.
Elumelu, a former Chief Executive of the United Bank for Africa, said this while speaking with State House Correspondents after a visit to the Presidential villa.
According to him, there is so much private global capital looking for investment destination, adding that this new ranking would attract such funds.
He said: “The fact that we moved 24 places is huge, is significant and it gives us impetus and hope that we can even do better.
“So, it is like your child is doing well in school and you say well done guy, but we need you to do more.
“So, I see us progressively improving and now as a country we all realize the fact that this kind of rating is good.
“But more importantly we need foreign investors and Nigerian investors to take advantage of this because the ordinary man on the street will say what does this mean.
“What this means is that we can attract more investments and as we get more investments we create more jobs.
“As we create more jobs we alleviate poverty, we begin to grow an inclusive government, an economy and there is prosperity, peace and happiness in our land. That is what it means.”
Elumelu added that friends of Nigeria and global investors looking for a safe place to invest where the sanctity of contracts is good should come to invest in Nigeria.
The Chairman of Elumelu Foundation described the country as a place where reform regime is good
He said: “As we have seen from the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report it shows that Nigeria is open and ready for business.
“As I have always said, there is so much private global capital looking for investment destination. This new ranking is a signal saying come invest in Nigeria.
“I speak like a Nigerian who invests in Nigeria and across African countries.
“There is nowhere else I get the kind of return on investments as I get in Nigeria and this is the time for people to come on board and take advantage.”
The industrialist noted that there was still huge room for improvement to attract more foreign direct investments.
Elumelu said: “Everything that we have done well that is good should be improved.
“I think tax issues, we need to streamline our taxes and avoid multiple taxations.
“We need to have double taxation treaties with other countries so that Nigerian investors, who go out to invest, won’t pay double taxes and those who come here won’t pay multiple taxes.
“I think it is good to make sure that infrastructure works, I think the rule of law is extremely important, strong governance, contract enforceability and sanctity of contracts, property rights.
“These are things that drive where investors go to invest and of course we know that the Central Bank had addressed the foreign exchange issue before.”
Elumelu acknowledged that foreign exchange rate was high, but with the reforms “now it is available, it is predictable.
“I am happy with what is happening in that sphere and you can see how the market is improving across board.”