Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, says despite the challenges Nigeria is facing, the country remains a choice location for investors.
Aregbesola said this on Friday, while delivering an address at the sixth edition of the Kaduna economic and investment summit, tagged ‘KADINVEST 6.0’.
The two-day summit began on Thursday.
The minister, who said the federal government has, from August 2019 till date, granted work permits to over 12,000 expatriates, added that the opportunities available to investors in Nigeria are quite profitable.
“The ministry, from inception till date, has handled 14,690 companies and granted 126,893 quota licences to expatriates. However, from August 2019 till date, we have registered more than 2,000 companies while over 12,000 expatriates have been given permits to work in Nigeria,” a statement by Sola Fasure, spokesman of the ministry, quoted Aregbesola as saying.
“We now handle applications with dispatch and will encourage any firm or organisation with genuine need for expatriates to bring their applications. We shall accord it with the required courtesy.
“In spite of the challenges we have faced, it might interest us to know that Nigeria is still an investor’s dream where there is abundant raw materials, highly skilled and affordable workforce and the largest market for goods and services in Africa. The return on investment has always been mouth-watering.”
Aregbesola commended the Kaduna government for its efforts in improving the state’s economy, adding that the theme of the summit, ‘Towards a Sustainable Knowledge-based Economy’, shows the significance of adopting innovation in driving investment opportunities to the state.
While expressing concern over security challenges, he assured Kaduna of the federal government’s support on ensuring safety of lives and property.
“No economic activity can take place successfully in an insecure environment. This is where government comes in. As we all know, we have had some security challenges in the past, but we are overcoming them and hopefully they will soon be a thing of the past, given government’s renewed onslaught on the problem. The environment must be enabling for business,” he said.
“The federal government is deeply concerned about national security and will spare no effort to secure lives, property and every inch of our territory.
“A cardinal objective of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is to improve considerably the ease of doing business and minimise, if not eliminate altogether, any hinderance to doing business in Nigeria.”