It’s Dawn Of New Era On Development In Nigeria – Buhari Tells WEF

By Biola Adebayo

Nigeria is now at a new dawn and embarking on a new development trajectory, President Muhammadu Buhari told the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa Saturday in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Addressing the opening session of WEF, President Buhari declared that his administration is determined to industrialise Nigeria, leveraging on the nation’s comparative advantage and recognising the private sector as the agent of growth.

He described the Middle East as a natural partner in the development agenda, urging African and the Middle East countries to focus on policies that would deliver shared economic prosperity for their citizens.

‘‘On trade and investments for example, we can do more. Africa represents only five percent of Jordan’s trade with the world. But we have the resources, the people and the markets to do more.

‘‘Opportunities exist in key job creating sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Tourism, ICT, Infrastructure as well as Textile and garment to mention a few.

‘‘Our new, inclusive and diversified Nigeria is definitely open for business. Our population, resources, policies and programs make it the most attractive investment destination in Africa.

‘‘As friends and allies, we must therefore cooperate and leverage on our relative strengths. We must remain open to “Building New Platforms of Cooperation,” he said.

The opening session of WEF was attended by King Abdallah of Jordan, Presidents of Armenia, Djibouti, and Palestine, as well as the Vice President of Panama, Prime of Minister of Jordan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guetteres.

President Buhari used the occasion to reiterate what his government has done in the fight against terrorism in the past four years, affirming that ‘‘no territory in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is held or controlled by Boko Haram.’’

‘‘On the security front, we made significant gains in fighting Boko Haram. We have recaptured all territories held by Boko Haram in 2014. We have liberated thousands of Nigerians held against their will.

‘‘We are extremely grateful to the many countries that have stood with Nigeria to confront this global scourge and in particular, the Kingdom of Jordan under the leadership of His Majesty, the King.’’

On the economic front, the Nigerian leader told the international community the economic diversification and social inclusion policies are also yielding positive results.

‘‘Our country has now returned to the path of growth. We are making gains in the ease of doing business indices.

‘‘A key driver for growth is the agricultural sector where we aggressively pushed agricultural policies that empowered millions of our rural citizens.

‘‘In the spirit of “Building New Platforms of Cooperation”, we partnered with the Kingdom of Morocco to domesticate fertilizer production in Nigeria and revive over two million tons of abandoned fertilizer blending plant capacity.

‘‘The outcome is we created tens of thousands of jobs in agriculture, logistics, manufacturing and retail sectors. We are able to achieve moderate growth. But it was inclusive,’’ he said.

NAN