13 April 2012

Nigeria: Sambo Wants U.S. Companies to Invest in the Country's Non-Oil Sector

Vice President Namadi Sambo has called on the United States companies to invest more in Nigeria's viable non-oil sector. The Vice President made the call at the U. S EX-IM Bank's 2012 Conference on Thursday.

"There is room for improvement in our economic relations if the U. S could encourage their private companies to partner with Nigerian private sector, particularly in the area of power generation, transmission and distribution."

Speaking on Global Competitiveness through Exports, Sambo noted that the partnership would also give room for improvement in the transportation and agricultural sectors and fast-track the Federal Government's transformation objectives of making agriculture a serious business.

According to him, even though an average of six per cent growth was recorded by Nigeria in the last 10 years, unemployment especially among youths remains a major challenge.

The vice president added that the EX-IM Bank's special initiatives would boost the growth of small businesses and would create jobs for the country's teaming youths.

Sambo assured that the Federal Government was putting efforts to address the challenges of inadequate power supply and infrastructural deficiencies.

We have therefore opportunities for investment in power generation but not only power generation but in upgrading the gas capacity in Nigeria because the much of the construction of this number of power plants creates opportunity of the needs to increase gas supply in the country.

"It is therefore a big opportunity to those that have capacity in constructing gas processing plants, gas pipe lines in order to serve these power plants.

"We are also addressing the need for the manpower in education; we are therefore improving the issue of training of science education in our schools.

"We are also developing training institutions, for example, we have an agreement with GE to establish a power training institute in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State and various other institutions in that regard.

"We are also addressing the issue of transportation, roads, new roads are being constructed, bridges, railways, we are rehabilitating about 4, 000 kilometres of our abandoned railway infrastructure. "

He, however, noted that African continent recorded an average growth rate of five per cent in the past few years with some countries recording excess of seven per cent per growth per annum in spite of the global economic crisis.

According to him, on the political and social fronts, the continent is still evolving and reeling under complex and multi-dimensional challenges.

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