BusinessDay

What the FG can do as Rwanda, others, move into Africa to woo investors – Ibifiri Bobmanuel

Last week Ogoni Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (OGCCIMA), led by Adaoge Norteh, a tax expert, played host to the Rwandan High Commissioner in Nigeria, Stanislas Kamanzi, and his delegation.

The President of the Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum (Ibifiri Bobmanuel) played important roles to make the visit a success.

In an interview, Bobmanuel of Bob Track Tractor manufacturing company explained what outcome to expect from the investment visit and what the FG of Nigeria should do as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) rushes on.

Excerpts: It is for the FG to take interest in these matters. As I have always said, some investors have shown interest in expanding to Rwanda. I hope that the FG and their agencies could take a cue from such a gathering and see how they could get the ambassadors to begin to pull their weights. If they do, they could get more direct foreign investment just like Rwanda has done today in Rivers State. That is a highpoint for me.

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In the areas of ease of doing business, see what Rwanda is doing and compare it with what we are doing in Nigeria. In tax holiday, they have given us seven years to invest in Rwanda. You just cannot compare that with what we have here in Nigeria.

I must state that investors are global citizens, high in demand around the world. It means that the investors we have in Rivers State are very vibrant. We feel very much appreciated. It gives a humbling feeling. We thus commend the Ogoni Chamber of Commerce for partnering with investors especially those in REIF. It is a huge opportunity for Rivers State as a state and for Nigerian investors and indeed for the Rwandans. It is a huge opportunity for them.

They have done their bit, it is now our foreign ministry to do its own bit by replicating what they have done by going to woo Rwandan investors into Nigeria.

Rwanda has thrown the ball to Nigeria. It is the task of the FG to pick up the ball. I think that Nigerian governments should sit up.

You have vibrant investors in Nigeria and you have not been able to recognize them enough. Rather, foreign countries are coming to woo them with all sorts of mouth-watering offers.

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