Enugu – The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said Nigeria needs to transform into a wealth creating economy as it is within government capacity to win over local investors and boost small businesses.
The ex-Government of Lagos State who was represented at the Enugu State Investment Summit, Oganiru, yesterday, by Ayo Gbeleyi, noted that Nigeria has been a rent collector in the past, depending on revenues provided by foreign investors out of the country’s own resources.
He stated that while the country has earned incomes from high prices of crude oil, “…we have not earned it from any appreciable effort creditable to us. Most of our oil resources are managed by foreign oil companies under joint venture agreements where we collect a share of income, from their own operations, drilling, and production of oil, not from our own operation, drilling and production. Therefore, we have been largely rent collectors not wealth creators.”
Speaking on the theme; ‘Public Private – People Partnership For A Vibrant And Inclusive Economy In Enugu ‘ Fashola further noted that while it is helpful to attract and secure the big multi-billion naira investors, they are usually not many enough to create the inclusion that is needed.
“The most important investor for your economic growth is the home investor. Investors do not take positions on the basis of loyalty or friendship. They do so, on the basis of profit and returns, based on where their investment is most secure.
“The more foreign they are, the more likely they probably will move when adverse conditions prevail. The more local they are, perhaps their local ties may dictate a slowdown of investment in adverse conditions.”
Fashola also described local investors as most dependable partners to drive progress (Oganiru) through public private – people partnership for a vibrant and inclusive economy in Enugu
Meanwhile, Enugu State is looking to privatise and commercialise some of its old or moribund assets across some sectors. The assets include Ada Rice Production Limited, Hotel Presidential Limited, Ikenga Hotels Limited, Sunrise Flourmills Limited, Nigergas Company Limited, Nigersteel Company Limited, United Palm Products Limited, Enugu Vegetable Oil Products Limited, among others.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said the state is resuscitating its moribund industries while opening up new ones for the benefit of its people.
“We are committed to utilizing the available resources judiciously to deliver on our campaign promises to our people.”