Buhari’s Visit To US NACC urges FG’s agenda to include infrastructure, FDI

The Chamber’s Director-General, Ms Joyce Akpata, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

(Presidency)
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Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) has advised the Federal Government to include infrastructure development and foreign direct investment in the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with his US counterpart, Mr Donald Trump.

President Buhari is scheduled to meet Trump on April 30.

The Chamber’s Director-General, Ms Joyce Akpata, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

Akpata said that lack of infrastructure was hindering the inflow of foreign direct investment into the country.

U.S has offered us a great opportunity under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), but unfortunately, we have not been able to maximise it because of lack of infrastructure that makes our production noncompetitive.

“Countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, have taken advantage of AGOA because their government has taken it as priority to maximise the opportunity.

“Nigeria has the population, but in terms of infrastructure, there is a deficit.

“Cost of producing here is higher, so Americans would go elsewhere. I know that ADIDAS and one other companies have opened in Ghana, two others have established in Ethiopia and Lesotho and they are exporting garments to the U.S.

“If they come here, there is no production hub and that is a draw back,” she said.

Akpata said that agro commodities such as cashews and sesame seeds which were grown abundantly in the country were being exported to Asian countries.

Because the US market wants processed or semi processed products and we do not have the processing capacity, the Asians come here, buy them and process in their own countries and then export to the U.S and they make all the money.

“But if we can get investors to establish processing plants here, then we can process these commodities before exporting them,” Akpata said.

According to her, doing that will increase manufacturers’ income and government’s revenue profile.

She said that the Federal Government must create the enabling environment for such investment to flow into the country and thrive.

The director-general also advised that discussions on knowledge transfer, partnership in ICT, agricultural and security issues were vital to deepen government’s efforts in the various sectors in addition to attracting foreign investors.

Of course, we are not going to be looking for any aid, it is more of value addition and partnership that would strengthen the economies and relationship between both nations,” she said.

NAN recalls that a statement by the White House revealed that President Trump had extended an invitation to President Buhari to meet him on April 30 to discuss issues on terrorism, economic growth and Nigeria’s role as a leader in West Africa.

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