Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has advised investors willing to take advantage of the opportunities in the Nigerian economy to do so now or risk blaming themselves in 10 years time.
Speaking at the presidential villa in Abuja during a meeting of delegates from the Nigerian Initiative for Economic Development (NEID), United States, Osinbajo said in 10 years, Nigeria would have become the sixth or seventh largest in the world.
He recalled how some companies which missed the opportunity of investing in the telecoms sector expressed regrets when the organisations granted licences secured more than double their investments within five years.
Osinbajo described Nigeria as the best country for investment in Africa.
“If you are really serious about investing in Africa, Nigeria is where to come. If you don’t invest now, your company will query you in 10 years,” he said.
“This is a country of 180 million people, and in another 10 years, we are probably going to be the sixth or seventh largest country in the world. There is no way we are not going to need power, whether it is off-grid power or on-grid power. Power is required by everyone where we have a major power deficit.
“So, we are going to open up that power sector and anyone who invests in the power sector will definitely make money. No question. It is going to be much bigger and better than telecom.”
He also addressed the issue of investors having the mindset that they are doing their host country a favour through putting their money there.
Osinbajo said prospective investors also stand to reap many benefits.
“I like the idea of investors knowing that the reason why you are coming to Nigeria is not to help Nigeria. You will ultimately end up helping Nigeria, but the reason why you are coming here is because this is a good place to do business,” he said.
“Nigeria is a place that is waiting to happen and it will happen. That’s really the point. It will happen. The truth of the matter is that any country that opens itself to free enterprise, the way Nigeria is opening itself to free enterprise, will somehow find that it will work.
“My friend is from Rwanda. Rwanda is a very lovely country and Paul Kagame is an incredible individual doing really good things in that country and I believe that the country will do great things. But compare Rwanda to Nigeria in terms of just the size of the economy. We have 36 states in Nigeria. Lagos alone which is the commercial nerve centre is six times the economy of Rwanda.
“So, really when you compare some of these things people say ‘Oh! I want to go to there’; ‘I want to go here’ …Yaah! It’s okay. But the truth of the matter is that if you are really serious about investing in Africa, this is where you have to come to. This is absolutely where you must come to. There is no other place.”