The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said
Nigeria is safe for investment in spite of the demarketing campaign
being waged against the country by the political opposition.
The Minister made the remarks at an Investors’ Fair, tagged “Africa
Walk”, organized by the UNICORN Group in its Lagos Campus on Friday.
He said the fake narrative being promoted by the de-marketers was that
Nigeria is a war zone or that there is religious persecution in the
Alhaji Mohammed said the Buhari Administration came into office in
2015 with the promise to revamp the economy, fight insecurity and curb
corruption and that the administration has acquainted itself
creditably on the three pillars.
“We were elected on the three pillars of the economy, security, and
anti-corruption. In these three areas, I can confirm that we have not
left any stone unturned to turn things around despite the numerous
challenges,” he said.
While speaking on security, the Minister said Boko Haram, which was
controlling a large swath of territory in the North East prior to the
advent of the present Administration, has been severely degraded and
that ISWAP leadership has been eliminated.
He said 51,000 insurgents surrendered in the first three months of
this year alone, while the Government is now focusing on
rehabilitation and rebuilding communities destroyed by the insurgents.
The Minister said in order to address the intractable farmer-herder
clashes, the present administration is the first to bring a feasible
solution to the conflict through the National Livestock Transformation
Plan, which puts ranching at its core.
He therefore called on some state governments that are yet to key into
the plan to have a rethink and embrace it in order to put a halt to
the protracted farmer-herder clashes.
“We are also tackling banditry with the same vigour with which we have
taken on Boko Haram and ISWAP, and it is a matter of time for bandits
to be decimated too,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
On the economy, he said the administration has re-geared the economy
to stimulate domestic production and make the nation less vulnerable
to external shocks.
He however said adverse global headwinds, such as the crash in oil
prices, COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, have had
adverse effects on the economy.
In the area of fighting corruption, the Minister reeled out monetary
recoveries from January to December 2021 as N152 billion; USD386
million; 1.1 million Pounds; 157,000 Euros; about 1.7 Saudi Riyals and
some more in Digital and other currencies.
He said the funds so far recovered have gone into the provision of
infrastructure across the country.
“It is disappointing that some of our recovered funds are still being
blocked. Western governments should be helping us recover our money,
not blocking it. Past funds have been returned, and then gone towards
infrastructure. Governments proclaim they want to return, but then tie
it up in endless bureaucracy for reasons best known to them,” he said.
The Chairman of the UNICORN Group, Dr. Akintoye Akindele, who
conducted the Minister round the startup incubation hubs on the
UNICORN Campus, used the occasion to unveil one of the largest
companies in the world, Nvidia, which is into robotics, Artificial
Intelligence, Agric, Media, gaming, entertainment, education and
translation, among others.
Dr. Akindele said he is encouraging and supporting startups to go
beyond profit maximization to contribution to nation-building.