Nigerian Americans pledge $4b investments to economy

A group of accomplished Nigerian professionals in the United States (U.S.) has put measures in place to attract an estimated $4 billion investment into the Nigerian economy in the next two years.

The professionals, under the aegis of Nigerian American Business Forum (NABF), stated this at their 2020 Investment Conference with the theme: “Improving Nigeria’s Economy: Opportunities and challenges”, at Tampa, Florida.

They said despite the obvious investment challenges, they were determined to use their wealth of experience and connections to attract growth to their fatherland.

The President of the forum, Mr. Kenneth Shobola, said the forum aimed to impact the wealth of experience of accomplished Nigerian Diasporas for the rapid growth of their homeland.

Shobola said: “Our goal remains the same. We are attracting a $4 billion investment over a two-year period. We have already identified some areas where there are deficiencies such as healthcare, agriculture and education.

“We’ve been doing quite a lot. Privately, a lot of our members are making inroads into those areas and also corporately, we’re already working and also looking at very good viable projects.

“Should things go the way we want, with the plans we have in place, exiting this conference, a huge chunk of that $4 billion investment would definitely be hit before our next conference,” he said.

Shobola said Nigeria is one of the best economies to invest in the world.

“Nigeria is one of the best and most fertile countries to invest in anywhere in the world. As in everything high-risk in the world, no investment is risk-free. But at the same time, you can minimise or eliminate these risks as best as you can.

“I think Nigeria is one of the developing nations where you can truly see the opportunities that you probably will not see here in the United States and then if properly harnessed, you will get the desired results.”

He said there were opportunities to stem the scourge of medical tourism by looking at dilapidated hospitals or healthcare establishments that need restructuring and administrative services in addition to bringing experts in to run such facilities the way they were being done in the U.S.

“NABF is looking at establishing and integrating the most current diagnostics techniques and treatments options based on the expertise we have here in the United States. We are bringing in some experts such as cardiologists, neurologists, ophthalmologist, surgical interventionists in the areas of cancer, diabetes and a lot of the common diseases that tend to plague our people,” he said.

Shobola said NABF decided to invest in Nigeria because youth unemployment was at undesirable level, adding that NABF’s overall goal was to get to 100 per cent of youth employment.

“We have massive youth unemployment. Our goal is to continue to do what we are doing to attain 100 per cent youth employment.

“Just look at the Nigerians here, they sing our praises everywhere we go just because we have the opportunities and those opportunities showcase those talents. But Nigerians at home have the education but don’t have the opportunities. This is creating a very dangerous condition,” NABF President said.

He said it was a tall order but believed that the Diasporas intervening along complementing the efforts of government and the private sector in Nigeria would make the difference.  (The Nation)