By Gidado Ibrahim
President Bola Tinubu’s recent trip to Germany was a resounding success, resulting in two important agreements that will have a significant positive impact on Nigeria’s economy. The signing of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on gas supply and renewable energy projects represents a major step forward in Nigeria’s efforts to diversify its economy and attract foreign investment.
The MoU on gas supply will see Nigeria supply Germany with 850,000 tonnes of gas per annum, expanding to 1.2 million tonnes per annum. This will not only generate much-needed revenue for Nigeria but also help to reduce Germany’s reliance on Russian gas.
The MoU on renewable energy projects will see the investment of $500 million in renewable energy projects in Nigeria. This will help to address the country’s energy deficit and create jobs in the green economy.
In addition to these two major agreements, President Tinubu also held a series of meetings with German business leaders, during which he discussed the potential for further investment in Nigeria. These meetings were highly successful, and there is a strong likelihood that more German businesses will invest in Nigeria in the coming years.
Overall, President Tinubu’s trip to Germany was a major success that will have a significant positive impact on Nigeria’s economy. The agreements that were signed will generate much-needed revenue, create jobs, and help to address the country’s energy deficit. These agreements are a testament to President Tinubu’s commitment to economic diplomacy and his determination to attract foreign investment to Nigeria.
Permit me to point out that Economic diplomacy is a vital tool for countries that want to promote their economic interests abroad. It involves using a variety of diplomatic tools, such as trade negotiations, investment promotion and cultural exchange to achieve economic objectives.
In recent years, economic diplomacy has become increasingly important as countries have become more interconnected and interdependent. The global economy is now more competitive than ever before, and countries need to use all the tools at their disposal to succeed. Economic diplomacy is one of those tools. Since taking office on May 29, President Bola Tinubu, his deputy, Vice President Kashim Shettima and notably, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, have engaged in relentless Economic Diplomacy to achieve quick wins on the economic front.
The Renewed Hope Government under the leadership of President Tinubu has a very strong economic diplomacy strategy that is focused on attracting foreign investment, promoting trade, and strengthening bilateral relationships. The country has a number of advantages that make it an attractive investment destination, including a large and growing population, a wealth of natural resources and a government that is committed to economic reform. This explains why the president went for a well experienced diplomat as his minister of Foreign Affairs.
Needless to remind us that President Tinubu, in a unanimous endorsement that signals the trust and confidence reposed in him by his counterparts, emerged the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on Sunday, July 9, in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. Nigeria is also actively promoting trade with other countries. As a signatory, active and an influential member of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Nigeria is frantically promoting trade with its African neighbours.
In addition, Nigeria is strengthening its bilateral relationships with key partners, such as Germany, China, and the United States. These relationships are important for attracting foreign investment and promoting trade.
Last week, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia agreed to a number of investment and cooperation deals. One of the agreements is for Saudi government to provide finance for overhauling the refineries, a project that is estimated to cost $2.2 billion. The agreements were reached during a meeting between President Tinubu and Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, while the Saudi-Africa summit was holding in Riyadh.
In September, President Tinubu scored Economic Diplomatic high-point with a $14-billion investment commitments from Indian companies and the government to boost key sectors. That was a significant stride towards economic cooperation.
Nigeria is well-positioned to succeed in the global economy. The country has a strong economic diplomacy strategy and a number of advantages that make it an attractive investment destination. Nigeria is also actively promoting trade and strengthening its bilateral relationships. With continued effort, Nigeria can achieve its economic goals and become a leader in the global economy.
As I bring this discourse to a close, let me remind Nigerians, the president and his team that marketing Nigeria’s investment potentials globally without commensurate domestic business friendly environment is tantamount to exercise in futility. As a private sector player himself, Tinubu is very much aware of this fact. This explains why he started his government on the note of reforms. Guided by his Renewed Hope manifesto, Tinubu implemented reforms that will create a conducive environment for foreign direct investment (FDI) at home.
The removal of fuel subsidies is a significant step towards creating a more market-oriented economy and attracting FDI. Subsidies have long been a source of economic distortion and inefficiency in Nigeria. They have also been a major drain on the government’s budget, diverting resources away from more productive uses.
By removing subsidies, the government is signaling to investors that it is committed to sound economic management and fiscal discipline. This will create greater confidence in the Nigerian economy and make it more attractive to foreign investors.
The unification of exchange rates is another important reform that will improve the Nigerian business environment. Currently, Nigeria operates multiple exchange rates, which has created confusion and uncertainty for businesses.
The unification of exchange rates will create a single, market-determined exchange rate. This will make it easier for businesses to plan and invest, and it will also reduce the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.
The government is also taking steps to reduce bureaucratic bottlenecks that have hindered FDI in the past. These bottlenecks include complex regulatory processes, lengthy permit applications, and corruption.
The Tinubu government is committed to streamlining regulatory processes, making it easier for businesses to obtain permits and licenses. It is also taking steps to combat corruption and create a more transparent and accountable business environment.
Economic diplomacy will continue to be an important tool for countries in the years to come. The global economy is becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, and countries will need to use all the tools at their disposal to succeed. Economic diplomacy is one of those tools. Gladly for Nigeria, the President himself and foreign minister are men with good grasp of global social and economic dynamics.
With the kind of relentless efforts President Tinubu, his Vice, Shettima and the Foreign Affairs Minister Yussuf Tuggar have brought into global marketing of Nigeria’s investment potentials, I’m confident that the future of Nigeria is bright and it won’t be too long before Nigerians begin to smile again. Like I said last week, I enjoin Nigerian’s who believe in the renewed hope agenda not to relent I their prayers and support for the fight against corruption.
By God’s grace, my vacation begins on Tuesday, and on this note let me seek the pardon of those who may have been hit by the harsh reality of my column. It is not deliberate; it’s for the growth and development of our dear country. Let me extend my best wishes to the Honourable Minister of Information, Mohammed Malagi, the entire editorial crew and management of Blueprint newspaper. By Allah’s will, I will be resuming in January. Happy 2024 in advance. God bless Nigeria.
– Ibrahim is Director, Communication and Strategic Planning, of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC).