By Maureen Okon
Abuja – Mr Bryon Wilfert, Executive Vice President, Canada Trade Link, said on Tuesday in Abuja that Nigeria had the best market place for business to grow in Africa.
Wilfert made the remarks at a two-day Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit 2019, holding at the Transcorp Hilton.
The summit has the theme: “Reaching Greater Heights’’.
He said that the private sector was the key driver of any trade and investment business, which also created job opportunities.
He said that there was a great and bright future for Nigeria and Canada, but investors needed to be patient as they invested in Nigeria.
He added that in business and investment, investors needed to play with local players as these are the people that know about the areas of investment.
“There is a lot of noise about Nigeria and the issue of diversifying opportunity.
“But for anyone to understand a country, you need to be there because you hear a lot of things that are not true.
“Nigeria has the great entrepreneurial spirit, which is essential in providing good healthcare facilities and education.
“Canada has a lot to offer with its liberation policies for business merging and we are looking for new market and Nigeria is the market for such in Africa,’’ Wilfert said.
Also speaking, Babatunde Fowler, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) said Nigeria had ‘dangerous profit’ margins when investors invest in Agriculture.
“If you’re looking for ‘dangerous profit’, come and invest in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, because it has dangerous profit in crops like ginger, sesame seeds and others,’’ Fowler said.
Also speaking, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Secretary/Coordinator, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) explained that the council’s mandate was to change the perception of doing business in Nigeria.
She said that the African region had improved in the last few years by the World Bank’s standard of business indicators.
Oduwole said that when the administration decided to reform the business environment, the first thing the government did was to make business easy in Nigeria.
She added that the government removed bureaucratic bottleneck for the easier and fastest way to do business in Nigeria.
“The African region has been the most improved in the last three years if you take the World Bank business indicators, which of course makes the entire region priority.
“The situation economically was to make sure that the business environment was more conducive to attract more investments and to grow those investments.
“ It was also to attract foreign investments and to grow domestic investments as well,’’ she said.