President Bola Ahmed Tinubu came on board with huge expectations from Nigerians.
His Renewed Hope agenda was the fulcrum of his electioneering.
Nigerians are watching as events unfold and I believe the sacrifices we are making at the moment with the present situation should be for a future that we can all be proud of.
That is why it is very important for the president to look beyond mere political antics and negotiations and see the need to embrace new ideas and initiative that can help in advancing his dreams of a better Nigeria.
This was my position last week Thursday when the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams held a meeting with the Dutch business owners.
The meeting was the second in three months, following the previous meetings held with the Thailand business executives.
As the meeting progresses, I notice the determination of the foreign investors to explore the various business opportunities that are abound in Nigeria.
The Dutch business owners came with many ideas and business initiatives that could transform every sector of Nigeria’s life.
They spoke about the state of the Nigerian economy, the fluctuating naira and the impact on foreign businesses. They highlighted the security challenges in the country and the prospect of evolving a technology-driven security architecture that could help in combating the spate of insecurity in the country.
They also spoke about agriculture and the need to bolster the Nigerian economy through macro-agric initiative.
They discussed about tourism and sports and they were determined to break the jinx associated with the Nigerian sports.
In all of these, the Dutch investors were also conscious of the Nigerian culture of ‘man-know-man” and the reality of the country’s fragile business environment.
Honestly, the foreign investors knew Nigerians very well. They had done a lot of researches about Nigeria; they have more than enough information about our country and they are aware of our ‘nonchalant attitudes’ to everything we do.
But the intervention and courage of the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land did the magic.
Iba Adams told his guests and business partners from the Netherlands that Nigeria is the best place to be.
They didn’t bargain for such indepth encounter and they were surprised as he engaged them in every area of their discussion, highlighting the various opportunities that are abound in Nigeria.
The Yoruba generalissimo told his partners from the Netherlands that the huge population of Nigeria is one of the potentials the foreign investors can tap into in driving their business initiatives.
He admitted truly that Nigeria is going through difficult moment as he identified some of the issues and challenges the country is facing at the moment.
Adams noted that the spate of insecurity and the government’s failure to create the enabling environment for business are the major factors hindering our progress, but he quickly assured the Dutch investors that the spate of insecurity had reduced greatly under President Bola Tinubu as the president of Nigeria.
He posited that the country has the wherewithal to transform those challenges to opportunities.
Adams also showed good intention and interest in using his global network and influence to salvage Nigeria’s socio-economic problem, noting that the Dutch investors are lucky to think of Nigeria as the country of their choice.
He explained the roles he had played in combating the spate of insecurity in the country but added the global approach of using the technology-driven initiative to combat insecurity remains the best.
Iba Adams highlighted the need to reduce the hunger in the land, noting that the foreign business owners should focus more on improving the agric sector by embarking on macro food production strategies as well as evolving high tech mechanism that is geared towards improving the nation’s economy.
He restated the need to focus on creating the business synergy that allows the Netherland investors to build on the huge potentials of Nigeria in tourism, sports and arts.
Going by what transpired at the meeting, it was obvious that the foreign investors had their plan well articulated and they are keen at developing a business roadmap that will engender national growth and development.
They are also ready to explore the Nigerian market and bring about a new change in all sectors of our economy.
For instance, the Dutch Director of State Security Mr. Niels Ducaat in his remarks said with the evolution of modern technology, Nigeria has no reason to suffer prolonged insecurity.
He said issues of security are key to every nation’s development.
While seeking better approach to accommodate all interests, the Executive Assistant to the Delta State Governor on External Relations and Diaspora Affairs, Dr. Sunny Ofehe, added that also that the meeting with the Dutch will go a long way in bridging the gap and boosting the relationship between Nigeria and the Netherlands.
He explained that he is confident that Nigeria is realizing its great potentials, even as he stated that the Aare Onakakanfo will always be the pride of Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole.
Apart from the fact that the Dutch investors are well satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Yoruba generalissimo, of note is Mr.Joey Ngarigota’s unique interest in Nigerian football.
Ngarigota is the Netherlands Director, Global Football Academy and he used the opportunity of the meeting to highlight the strength of Nigeria as a country that is blessed with talents in football and other sports.
He said Nigeria has the opportunity to harness the abundant talents in football and in other sports.
He went down the memory lane by highlighting the success the country had achieved in global sports and he was optimistic that Nigeria will one day win the much coveted World Cup.
Yes, the meeting was rewarding. It was full of great moments and like every other people at the meeting, I was optimistic that there is hope for Nigeria.
But the Federal Government needs to work on modalities to strengthen the bond between the government and people of influence in the country.
As the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams had built the Nigerian brand beyond the shores of this country and investors and global business executives are using his influence to visit Nigeria to know more about the country.
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Like their counterparts from Thailand, many of the guests that came from Netherlands came to Nigeria for the first time.
And they were happy that they made the right choice by choosing Nigeria as their business destination.
My advice for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is that he should start the reform, let him engage Nigerians more in driving the Renewed Hope agenda of his administration.
.Kehinde Aderemi writes from Lagos