Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday in Rome, urged foreign investors to take advantage of the opportunities in Nigeria, declaring that the country is now ready for business.
The Vice President noted that the combination of Nigeria’s young, energetic population and the agenda of the new administration placed the country far ahead of others in the region.
According to a statement signed on Tuesday by the State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola, Shettima said this at a side event of the ongoing UN Food Systems Summit, themed ‘Scaling up of multi-stakeholder collaboration and investments in the implementation of the food systems pathways in Nigeria.’
According to the Vice President, “We have the capacity of transforming the demographic bulge into demographic dividends or it will be the demographic disaster that will consume all of us.
“Nigeria will surpass the United States as the third most populous nation on earth and the population is young. The median age is 19.
“With determined leadership and the support of the global community, we believe, as eternal optimists do, that there is hope on the horizon,” the VP added.
He also hoped that the expected transformation can occur on the back of what he described as “building blocks that already exist in Nigeria”.
They include the government’s recent declaration of a state of emergency on food security, moving food and water to the purview of the National Security Council; the country’s renewed commitment to food and nutrition since the Nutrition Conference of 2022; the National Food and Micro-Nutrient Intake Survey and the National State Level Food Systems, the VP explained.
He emphasized improved collaboration between the government and the private sector, saying “Focusing on agribusiness and the understanding that investment that will transform the food system will come from the private sector with the government providing the enabling environment, will scale up investment in the country.”
“Nigerian government, together with domestic and international finance institutions scaled up the Value Chain Development Programme approach for the Special Agro Processing Zones Programme with an impressive investment of $521m from the IFAD, from the IsDB, and from the AfDB.
“The success story of the value chain development programme speaks for itself,” he explained.
Shettima stated that the next frontier of global development faces Africa and Nigeria remains critical to the success or failure of the transition.
Therefore, he assured investors that the new leadership in Nigeria is working hard to position the country on the path of growth.
“We have a President with a private sector background and a Vice President who is also from the private sector.
“We have a President who has the knack for selecting the best to drive the process.
“Rest assured that the next frontiers for global development is facing Africa and Nigeria will make or mar that transition,” he said.
Present at the meeting were Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to FAO/IFAD/WFP in Rome, Mr. Yaya Olaniran; Nigerian Ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam; Deputy Chief of Staff to the President in the Office of the Vice President, Ibrahim Hadejia, among other senior government officials.