President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday rings the closing bell at the world’s second largest stock exchange, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (NASDAQ), making him the first African President to ever receive the honour.
The President, surrounded by Nigerian business leaders and officials of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, in trademark fashion, did not fail to seize the opportunity presented by the historic moment to boldly advance his foreign investment push as he stood, live, in front of financial markets at the famous stock exchange.
“It’s a great honour for me to be here. I am happy to bring Nigeria to your doorsteps, and I am honoured that we are here today with a bubbling Nigerian stock market that will evolve in the West African sub-region The greatest economy in Africa is Nigeria. There is an immense opportunity in Nigeria where you can invest your money without fear,” the President said.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, the President noted that his government continues to address longstanding problems and impediments, such as his work to restore and unify the foreign exchange rate market to a stable and trustworthy level, allowing new investors to seamlessly bring their money into the country, free of worries about whether or not they can take their money out at any point in time.
“You’re free to take in your money and bring out your money. I count on you to invest in Nigeria,” the president exclaimed under the lights.
At the Nigeria-U.S. Executive Business Roundtable held just after the closing bell, President Tinubu assured prospective investors that while he recognizes that investment capital is cowardly in nature, he intentionally brought successful Nigerian industrialists and public officials to share their experiences and operational plans respectively, in addition to all that he has already done to boost the confidence of the global investment community in Nigeria’s presently reforming fiscal, monetary, regulatory and tax policy environment.
“Nigeria is an opportunity that is impossible to replicate or find elsewhere in any part of the world. We have brilliant young people who both innovate and consume at a large scale. Our entrepreneurial spirit is a major part of what makes our market totally unique, aside from demography. Nigerians build businesses, and Nigerian businesses partner with other businesses to conduct larger businesses. There is enough value to spread around. Be careful of what you hear about Nigeria. You may be dissuaded out of a major opportunity that others will take up. We are here for you. We will give you all the support you need to succeed and succeed abundantly,” the President assured the roundtable as he pointed out cabinet officials.
On behalf of the U.S. Government, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, told U.S. business leaders that he was just a few hours removed from arriving in New York from Lagos, Nigeria, where he was on an official visit that later became a fact-finding mission.
“In Lagos, I saw first hand some of the major reforms you implemented as the Governor of Lagos and the transformative effect it has had on Nigeria’s commercial capital. People have attested to the fact that the reforms you have put in place as president are quickly enhancing confidence. American business is paying attention to that, and from what we have seen for ourselves, Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment. We will encourage our companies from our end as those reforms continue to deepen,” Mr. Adeyemo said.
The American Business Council President, Mr. Sops Ideriah, said that the extensive turnout at the roundtable by American Business Chief Executives served as a testament to the degree to which confidence is rising in response to the actions and words of President Bola Tinubu’s administration with respect to ease of business, investment promotion, and his willingness to personally intervene where required to ease the historical concerns of American business people about doing business in Nigeria.
“Having all the stakeholders in the room, His Excellency the President of Nigeria being here, from government actors at the federal and state level to ministers and tax authorities present, as well as private sector industrialists in Nigeria. We are very positive about the potential of Nigeria, and we are just reinforcing to our colleagues the message about the economic opportunities that exist there,” Mr. Ideriah said.
Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, assured the American Captains of Industry that under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, the nation’s apex tax authority will be focusing its efforts not on taxing the seed, but only on the proportionate taxation of the fruit of fully formed industry, through efficient policy synergy with Nigeria’s sub-national authorities.
“The President is a business enabler, not a handicapper. Everything we do will be geared toward making your tax assessment and payment processes as digitally efficient and transparent as possible. We are not after the seed, but the fruit, and we will keep to this commitment,” Nigeria’s new tax boss affirmed.