France summit presents Tinubu first opportunity to market Nigeria – experts

AS President Bola Tinubu joins other world leaders to participate in the new global financial pact conference in France from June 22-23, the event presents him the first opportunity to market Nigeria to the international community, experts have said.

Tinubu had on Tuesday, June 20, left the country to attend the summit in what is his first official assignment, The ICIR reported.

Themed a summit for a ‘New Global Financial Pact: Towards more commitments to achieve the 2030 Agenda’, the event is focused on the reform of multilateral development banks (MDBs), debt crisis, innovative financing, international taxes, and special drawing rights (SDRs).

Other issues in focus are the repercussions of the multiple climate, energy, health and, of course, economic crises, particularly in the most vulnerable countries.

France President Emmanuel Macron had, in November 2022, on the occasion of the G20 Summit and at the end of COP27, announced the organisation of an international conference in Paris for June 2023.

Sharing his thoughts with The ICIR on how Nigeria could leverage the summit, the head of financial institutions ratings firm, Agusto and Co, Ayokunle Olubunmi, saw the event as ideal for President Tinubu to put his best foot forward, present his plans, talk to foreign investors, market Nigeria, and gain the trust of the international community.

Olubunmi recalled that when former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, took over the government in 1999, all the debt forgiveness and other benefits did not happen in one day.

“It took a lot of meetings, showcasing Nigeria and all that to convince the international community to accept our proposal,” he said.

He noted that Nigeria actually needed the help and support of the MDBs and the international financial institutions (IFIs).

“Don’t forget that with all the policies the government is putting in place, some have negative shocks on the economy.

“So, we need those development banks to be able to support the economy to cushion the impact either by giving direct loans to businesses or advisories, or other supports,” the analyst said.

The summit is also an opportunity for Nigerian development finance institutions (DFIs) to strengthen their partnership with multilateral DFIs, to get funding, and to get support in delivering on their mandates.

“If you notice, those multilateral DFIs do not like to deal directly with businesses; they go through an intermediary, either the DFIs or commercial banks.

“But they are more comfortable dealing with the local DFIs with good corporate governance,” Olubunmi said.

In the area of international taxes, he said the government could think of how to collaborate with the international community to enforce tax laws for people to pay taxes, as obtained in America, since a lot of global companies do business in Nigeria.

“If you are an American, in all your global income, you have to pay taxes on it. So, if Nigeria wants to go that extreme, it could say that all Nigerians in the diaspora will have to pay taxes,” Olubunmi said.

It also serves as an avenue for the government to see how it can collaborate with other countries to block leakages in the tax system, he added.

“Having noted all these, let’s not forget that this is a marathon. We might not see the results immediately. It might take months or even years to see the result, but it is an opportunity for us to start early,” Olubunmi added.






     

     

    The executive vice chairman of Highcap Securities Limited, David Adonri, said the revision of the global financing pact, a multilateral initiative, might consider debt restructuring or forgiveness for Nigeria.

    According to him, SDRs may also be increased to support Nigeria’s fiscal imbalance.

    Adonri feared the imbalance might result in debt default if care was not taken.

    “Perhaps, reform of the multilateral development bank can provide more development funds to Nigeria,” Adonri added.

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