Persuade your companies to return, Nigerian govt urges Japan envoy

Persuade your companies to return, Nigerian govt urges Japan envoy
February 09 22:03 2017

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige has appealed to the ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke, to woo back Japanese companies that left Nigeria for Ghana and other African countries.

Speaking when he received the ambassador in his office on Thursday in Abuja, Ngige said the factors that drove the companies out of the country have tremendously eased.

“Investment climate in Nigeria has improved with the firm measures already taken by this administration to shore up power supply, effectively tackle corruption and improve the safety of lives and property. These are some of the factors that drove these factories, but the iron cast resolve of the Federal Government in putting them behind us is not in doubt.

“The era where foreign investors lose their investments to fraudsters is over as government has ensured adequate protection for their investments and profits. So, we want you to invite Japanese companies who were here to not only come back but also invite others to invest in fertile opportunities offered in our agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors.

“Look at the potentials in our huge rubber belt across Nigeria for example. Michelin was here but relocated to a neighboring country but the opportunities for brighter business prospects is still better in Nigeria. These companies will surely do better here under the environment we are creating,” he said.

The minister said Nigeria would learn from the resilience of the Japanese to overcome its current economic challenges, and urged Japan to fully tap into the improved investment climate in the country.

He said Nigeria, under the present administration, has looked inwards to regain lost opportunities hence, its emphasis on agriculture and mining.

While regretting the trade imbalance between the two countries, Ngige pleaded with Japan to close the gap by enabling skilled Nigerians live and work in Japan under the International Labour Migration Policy of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In his remarks, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke pledged Japan’s more active role in Nigeria’s economic diversification programme through the expansion of its businesses into agriculture and mining.

He also commended the anti-terrorism and anti-corruption efforts of the present administration and its determination to protect foreign investors.

“We are very hopeful that government policy is going to do well in three important areas of anti-terrorism, anti-corruption and economic diversification. But I believe economic diversification is the area where the Japanese are most useful. We have a lot of contributions to make to the diversification of the economy,” he said.