Despite the recent resurgence in terrorist attacks in the north-east, President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday assured investors that the country was conducive for them to operate as the federal government was winning the war against terror.
According to him, the declaration of state of emergency in three troubled states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa on May 14, had resulted in major improvement in security in the area.
Jonathan, who said this at the 14th meeting of the Honorary International Investor Council (HIIC), an advisory council to attract global financial players into the Nigerian economy coordinated by Baroness Lynda Chalker, said the emergency rule had drawn the sympathy and support of ordinary Nigerians in the areas boosting the success of the military expedition in the three states.
After a lull in terrorist attacks following the routing of Boko Haram members, especially in Yobe and Borno States, the Islamic militants have resumed attacks on soft targets, such as killing students writing examinations and residents.
However, the president explained that the insurgency in Nigeria had nothing to do with religion, and linked it to activities of internationally backed terror groups determined to destabilise the nation.
He said his administration was aware of the fact that to attract investment and development, government should guarantee the safety of lives and property.
He expressed appreciation to the members of the HIIC for their efforts at attracting business and investment into the country and encouraged them to do more.
According to him, although the nation’s economy was growing, he would like to see it improved to an appreciable level of a double-digit growth.
The president informed the council that he presented a mid-term report of performance of his administration on May 29 to correct the misinformation going on among the people.
He said the presentation had helped to correct the negative projection of the administration, particularly in the media.
Earlier, Chalker had said government must take pro-active action to address the problem of oil theft, which she added, was "diminishing income into the treasury’’.
She also charged the government to double its drive on the development of roads, rail, power, which she said, "are key to solving other problems’’.
Giving accounts of impact of the activities of the HIIC on national development, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, said there was significant increase in foreign direct investment in the economy.
He explained that the petrochemical sub-sector attracted over $20 billion investment with over $8 billion contribution by the Dangote group.
Aganga said the investment in petro-chemical had encouraged value addition into the oil and gas sector and generate employment.
According to him, in the last six months, the telecommunication sector has attracted over $6.9 billion, while there had been an influx of foreign investment from Brazil, Canada and The Netherland.
Aganga decried the situation where many Nigerians were unable to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the country because of lack of access to fund.