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Investors waiting till after election to make investment decisions – Nigerian Ambassador

Investors waiting till after election to make investment decisions – Nigerian Ambassador

Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Eniola Ajayi, has said peaceful, fair and violent-free elections would encourage investors who are waiting in the wings for the aftermath of the nation’s general elections before making critical investment decisions.

Ajayi stated this in Lagos, recently, according to a statement, on the occasion of this year’s World Peace and Understanding Day, organized by the Rotary Club of Lagos.

Nigeria held the presidential election on February 25, 2023, which was relatively peaceful but termed controversial by some stakeholders. On March 11, the country will hold the governorship and state house of assembly elections.

Commending Lagos Rotary Club for organising the event, at a time Nigerians would be going to the polls, the ambassador stated that peaceful elections had become imperative for a more stable and predictable political environment, that would attract foreign investors.

Ambassador Ajayi argued in the statement that investors would only invest, and also increase their investment funds, if convinced that such investments would be secure in a stable domestic market.

She maintained that the country has the potential to become the investment hub of the world, if it ensures the process bringing forth its leaders are peaceful, fair and transparent.

“What we face currently is that investors are waiting till after the election to make investment decisions in Nigeria. There are no sentiments. It is purely a business decision; hence the need to make the process as peaceful, as possible,” the former Ekiti State Commissioner stated.

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While highlighting other benefits of peaceful elections, the ambassador added that countries with the culture of peaceful elections, develop a more robust civil society, greater freedom of speech and expression, as well as press freedom.

The former Ekiti State Commissioner stated further that for a government to enjoy some form of legitimacy and trust from the people, the electoral process that would usher such government in, must be seen to be free and fair.

She added that such government would attract developmental support and engender the confidence of international organizations, once elected through the proper democratic process.

“Peaceful conduct of elections can foster a sense of civic pride and national identity by allowing citizens to participate in the democratic process. Moreover, peaceful conduct of elections will encourage the formation of new political movements and parties. It also provides opportunity for under-represented groups to gain political power.

“The indices of growth in terms of development can be attributed directly to how peaceful a nation is and how the standard of living is going to be. Peace is prerequisite for developments. The fundamental of a society in terms of human capital development, infrastructural development and economic growth subject to the rule of law thrives in an atmosphere of peace. In the absence of peace everything is affected; Education, Healthcare systems and commerce breakdown.

“There is an economic cost to violence. It has been established that violence has significantly and directly reduced growth – in Brazil, 5% of GDP is lost due to violence and crimes; in El-Salvador, it is 25% according to Roshan Paul and Sarah Jefferson of peace-insight.org. The economist, Paul Collier has shown that, an average annual GDP growth of a conflict-affected country is reduced by 2.3%, as a result of the conflict,” she stated.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Host/ District Governor, Rotary International District 9110, Rotarian Omotunde Lawson, described the programme, organized to commemorate the club’s 118th year anniversary, as a testament to its commitment to peace, across the globe.

“This particular year, we are talking about peaceful election, and you know we are having elections in a few days time. When there is peaceful election, there will be development. Nobody wants any chaos,” she added.