Thursday, January 05, 2017 11.50AM / NASS
The Federal Government has mulled the establishment of a match-making database to aid international business interconnectivity and stress-free investments into the country.
According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, the 119 Nigeria missions abroad would serve as one-stop shops to spur investments through information sharing and elimination of bottlenecks.
He said the initiative would enable Nigeria’s products and investors to access the world market easily and also enable foreign investorsto have unfettered access to informed and genuine information concerning business opportunities in Nigeria.
The minister explained that the scheme would be implemented through a matching-making data base aimed at promoting exports and enhancing the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
According to Onyeama, the design is an economic diplomacy which is a framework to address the severe economic challenges facing Nigeria.Besides, in a bid to encourage local production, Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has launched a contest to promote made in Nigeria products.
The Contest scheduled to run for three months is aimed at showcasing the process and raw materials used in producing such locally made goods.In a statement personally signed by Saraki, he said that the contest would identify the good products that could be matched with investors and government agencies.
He said that such agencies or investors would drive the products to the extent that they compete favourably with any similar product being imported.
On his part. Onyeama said his ministry hopes to leverage on the advantage offered by its 119 missions to deliver concrete economic benefit to the nation.“It is a pet project. It is a matching making data base for our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and export promotion.
“So this data base will essentially enable any Nigerian business to upload to our data base that could be managed from Foreign Affairs together with the ministry of trade and investment,” he said.
He said all the information needed about what they want to export and investment types would be readily available in all the119 countries where Nigeria has presence.
In his reaction, the Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, commended the move by the federal government while calling for increased engagement with operators in the private sector.
According to Yusuf, a framework to ensure the liquidity of the foreign exchange market should be urgently put in place in order to restore investors’ confidence, enhance forex inflows, boost FDIs and FPIs, and reduce the level of uncertainty in the economy.
Highlighting the advantage of the scheme, Onyeama said the scheme would also save Nigerian businessmen from going through all kinds of bottlenecks and paying all kinds of fees in foreign countries.
“We feel it that way because we have a lot bottlenecks in a lot of Nigerian businessmen trying to do business outside the country, so many bottlenecks.
“So if we can provide them a very simple access what we call it is market access.
“We have the markets in all these countries, so that our business people and traders have the world at their finger-tips,” he said.Onyeama said that his ministry was also looking at how to utilise the same method to attract more FDI into Nigeria