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Nigerian President woos foreign Investors

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday pledged that his administration will implement policies and programmes that will make Nigeria an attractive destination for foreign investors.

Mr. Jonathan made the promise while speaking during separate meeting with the outgoing Ambassadors of China and the Netherlands.

He said that the federal government will do all to attract greater foreign investment to Nigeria because it was conscious of the fact that foreign investors will help to create more employment opportunities for the country’s growing youth population.

“We having a growing population of young people and as a government we have an enormous responsibility to plan and prepare for their future,” Mr. Jonathan said. “Greater foreign investment will clearly help us in creating more gainful employment for our youth and we will do all we can to promote it.”

More bilateral trade

Welcoming the increased volume of bilateral trade between Nigeria, China, and the Netherlands, the President said that Nigeria is now opening its doors to foreign investors more than ever before, adding that sectors of the economy such as aviation, power supply, and the development of infrastructure, previously run by the government alone, are now open to private investors from within and outside the country.

He also told the outgoing Ambassadors that his administration is doing everything possible to deal with all outstanding domestic issues which can discourage foreign investors, saying that significant progress was being made in areas such as peace in the Niger Delta and power supply.

Improving the electoral system

President Jonathan reiterated his commitment to good governance as well as free and fair elections in Nigeria next year, adding that steps will be taken to plug gaps in the electoral system which made it difficult to conduct credible elections in the past.

He thanked Arie Van Der Wiel of the Netherlands, and Xu Jiango of China, for their efforts in the past four years to promote trade and cooperation between Nigeria and their respective countries, and wished them well at their new posts.

In response, Mr. Van der Wiel told the President that the volume of annual trade between Nigeria and the Netherlands had risen from about $2 billion when he arrived in 2006 to $4 billion currently, while Mr. Jiango reported that the volume of annual trade between Nigeria and China now stood at about $7 billion per annum, up from $3 billion in 2006.