President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assured potential investors that Nigeria would soon become one of the most attractive places to invest as his administration has embarked on significant economic reforms to realize that goal.
He gave the assurance to a large gathering of political and business leaders from the United States, Africa and other regions of the world at the Second United States-Africa Business Forum in New York.
The event was organized by the United States Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will soon come out with wide-ranging business environment reforms.
The reforms, he said will be on ports, visa-on arrival, improving the speed and efficiency of land titling and business registration.
Some fiscal incentives, he noted, include up to five years tax holiday for activities classified as “pioneer;” tax-free operations; no restrictions on expatriate quotas in Free Trade Zones and a low VAT regime of five per cent.
Stressing that Nigeria remained the number one investment destination in Africa, he said: “We intend to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do business,”
Buhari also said his administration will continue to strengthen government institutions in order to address the concerns of investors and ease investments in the Nigerian economy.
He added: “We are weaning ourselves from a historical dependence on crude oil, diversifying our economy, and putting it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth. To this end, we have embarked on policies aimed at establishing an open, rules-based and market-oriented economy.
“We will continue to actively engage with the private sector at the highest levels to listen to your concerns and to assure you of our commitment to creating enabling policies in which your businesses can survive and thrive.”
He urged participants to take advantage of the Forum to establish and strengthen business relationships, share valuable experience and collaborate for mutual benefits.