The federal government has partnered with Horasis, an international think tank, to organise the first Horasis Global Business meeting.
The meeting, which will hold in the second quarter of 2021, is aimer at increasing foreign direct investment and fast track the actualisation of the economic development goals.
The Horasis Global Business meeting, which has been competitively compared by media giant Bloomberg to the World Economic Forum in Davos, annually brings together over 500 CEOs of leading companies of the world alongside heads of governments to discuss and find practicable solutions to global problems.
Shamsudeen Usman, former minister of national planning and Horasis-in-Nigeria chairman, alongside Noel Akpata, the co-founder/regional coordinator, has formed a regional Visions Community to ensure a successful event that will lead to massive economic benefits for Nigeria.
Some of the partners include the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Ministry of Trade and Investment, and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), and some private sector players such as Lafarge, Shoreline, Heritage Bank, Renaissance Capital, and Zenera Consulting.
Speaking at a virtual meeting with the members of the Horasis Visions Community, the federal executive council (FEC), and representatives of state governors and corporate organisations, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his excitement about the upcoming conference and lauded Horasis’ initiatives since it was founded in 2005.
“It is a platform for frank discussions and generation of ideas for the resolution of multifaceted challenges of mankind. The work of governments and corporate organisations are expected to be impacted positively. It is with this context that I welcome these discussions in the upcoming Horasis business meeting in Nigeria.” the president said.
Members of the president’s cabinet who attended the virtual meeting are Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, budget and national planning; Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture; Adeniyi Adebayo, minister of trade and investment; and Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs.
Other dignitaries include Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti state governor and NGF chairman; Frank-Jürgen Richter, global chairman of Horasis; and Ahmed Mansur, MAN chairman.
According to Fayemi, the COVID-19 pandemic, the global recession, and dwindling revenue from oil and gas are some of the issues that have made the meeting important, and have convinced the NGF that there is significant value in partnering with Horasis.
“As key stakeholders in Nigeria’s economic development agenda, the NGF and indeed, all state governors of the federation recognise the crucial and catalytic role of this type of engagement,” he said.
“Horasis comes with a rich history and very extensive global presence. This has informed the decision of the forum to collaborate with Horasis in hosting the annual global business meeting in Nigeria.”
“The NGF’s partnership with Horasis is anchored on two broad opportunities, including the creation of a long-term strategic framework for Nigeria to be the African hub for Horasis annual meetings and the creation of the Horasis-Nigeria Economic Development Council to assist the Nigerian government in the actualisation of its economic development goals.
“It is expected that the partnership will result in increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), thereby favourably positioning Nigeria in the global community.”
In his remarks, Richter said Horasis was founded with the conviction that wealth is shifting towards the emerging world, especially to Africa.
“The future definitely lies with emerging countries, especially in Africa, with Nigeria at the core,” Richter said.
The last Horasis global meeting boasted of over 900 speakers, including Antonio Guiteres, the UN secretary-general, four heads of states, 50 ministers and several CEOs from fortune 500 companies.
According to Richter, Horasis plans to host the African business meeting on an annual basis in Nigeria with leaders from all over the world to debate the future of the African continent and engage each other in terms of trade and diplomacy, thus attracting significant FDI.