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Johnson Chukwu: Nigeria Must Resolve internal issues To Create Appealing Environment For Investors

He said investors seek out opportunities that offer the highest returns with the lowest risks.

Johnson Chukwu, CEO of Cowry Asset Management, has said that Nigeria must resolve its internal issues to create an appealing environment for potential investors.

President Bola Tinubu left Abuja on Tuesday to attend the G20 summit scheduled to take place in New Delhi, India, from September 9 to 10.

According to Ajuri Ngelale, the presidential spokesperson, President Tinubu is set to engage with global leaders, heads of state, prominent figures in various industries, and CEOs of some of the world’s most influential corporations, and he seeks to attract foreign investments to the country during the summit.

Ngelale mentioned that although it is desirable for Nigeria to be a part of the G-20, the government is currently engaged in extensive discussions to assess both the advantages and disadvantages of joining.

In an  interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, Chukwu said that investors seek out opportunities that offer the highest returns with the lowest risks. Therefore, if an economy provides such opportunities, it will attract investors. Following this, Nigeria should focus on addressing its internal problems and improving the size and quality of the economy.

Consequently, he stated that if we fail to address our internal problems and “we don’t get our house right”, the likelihood of receiving an invitation to join the G-20 is highly unlikely.

He said, “We are not among the top 20 developed economies in the world, we are on the fringes of the top developed economies in the world, so you couldn’t have come in as a member of the G-20.”

However, he spoke of some level of image branding for Nigeria saying, “The key thing is that we will show presence, and people will know we exist, people will know that there is still Nigeria and Nigeria is trying to reach out to the world.”

He additionally noted that Nigeria experienced an “arrested development,” leading to a gradual decline, and he pointed out that the population’s expansion is outpacing the growth rate of the GDP, attributing this to decisions made by the nation’s leaders. 

Chukwu also highlighted that the country’s economic and leadership decisions have led to an exceptionally slow pace of economic growth.

“Look at the issue of infrastructure,” he said, “we have been building a highway from Lagos to Ibadan, 110 to 1 kilometre, for 20 years. It doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world.

“We have dealt with the issue of power failure or lack of sufficient energy supply in the country for the past maybe 30 years.

“Countries that came out of war have fixed their power supply.”

Chukwu also pointed out that Nigeria has not successfully established a deep-sea port for importing and exporting goods, and the growing insecurity has permeated society, hindering even farmers in the agricultural sector, which contributes roughly two to three percent of the GDP, from tending to their fields.

“We took the wrong route, we took the wrong decisions,” he stated, “and that is what has brought us to where we are.  

“The basic thing I want to emphasise is that for Nigeria or Africa to become a force to be reckoned with in the global economic space, it’s not going to be driven by your population.

“It is the size and the quality of your economy.”

Further into the G-20 summit meeting, Chukwu said that the Western nations are actively seeking ways to reduce their reliance on China as a primary manufacturing hub. Over time, India is poised to emerge as a viable alternative centre for production in the eyes of Western countries.

He said, “India has a huge labour market, and the Indian skill set is comparable if not better than what you have in western countries.”

According to him, when it comes to technology, India ranks among the world’s top technological nations. Western countries are keen on including India in their alliance while also seeking to hinder the development of a close bond between India and China. 

This is because such a relationship could potentially lead to the formation of a strong bloc that might counteract the objectives of Western nations.

He further said, concerning Russia, India had undermined the western country in terms of imposing sanctions on Russia. 

Hence, if Western countries can engage with India and persuade them to join their side, they can obstruct Russia’s ability to export crude oil to India, and this could potentially undermine Russia’s resolve to sustain the war.

Chukwu concluded stating, “If you have India as part of the western bloc, you certainly have broken the southern hemisphere’s power as it relates to countering the powers of the western countries.”

Frances Ibiefo

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