24 April 2018

Nigeria: Why I Didn't Attend Nigerian Investment Forum in Washington - Fayemi

The Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi, has said that he did not shun the Investment Forum organised by the Nigerian Embassy in Washington on Saturday, as he never confirmed his attendance of the meeting.

The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, after the meeting on Saturday, criticised the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, and some ministers for their absence at the forum.

Mr Sanusi had also expressed displeasure at the lateness of those who attended the meeting.

"We had a meeting today with investors, we were supposed to start at 10.00 am, I got there early and I was taken to the Nigerian ambassador's office to sit down," he said.

"The investors were outside waiting for the meeting; that is not how to attract investors.

"Also, some top Nigerians were on the list to attend the meeting, such as the Vice President and some Ministers, but some of the ministers were in town, but they did not attend the meeting.

"The U.S Commerce Secretary and some top investors came for the meeting, but Nigerian ministers are in Washington, but they did not attend the meeting to speak with them on how to invest in Nigeria."

But Mr Fayemi, who seeks the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress in Ekiti, said in a statement on Monday, that he was not billed to attend the investment forum.

He said the impression that he shunned the meeting was not correct and might be due to imcomplete information.

"Dr Fayemi did not confirm attendance at any investment forum in Washington DC, USA, hence cannot be accused of shunning the event," the statement signed by his Special Assistant, Yinka Oyebode, said.

"As a matter of fact, the minister and a few of his colleagues, during the said period, were attending some investment forum organised by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Head of Government meeting (CHOGM), in London, UK.

"There have been instances where names of ministers and top government officials were announced as participants in some events without proper invitation and confirmation of attendance. This is certainly the case with the Washington event.

"So, to suggest that that Dr Fayemi was in Washington and chose not to attend the event could not have been an accurate account of what transpired. He was certainly nowhere near America and the organisers cannot say he confirmed to be at the event.

"Organisers of important events should not always assume they have put the necessary steps in place when they simply have not taken the pain to invite and also confirm attendance at an event," the statement highlighted.

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