THE need for the nascent administration of President Bola Tinubu to seek support, collaboration and partnership with multilateral financial institutions and foreign investors to solidify the country’s ailing economy was a key highlight of his participation at the Paris Summit held on June 22-23.
World leaders had gathered at the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact to make a case for urgent reforms in the world’s financial architecture.
The two-day summit witnessed the signing of the New Global Financial Pact to prioritise support for and investment in vulnerable countries.
The pact was reached among world leaders due to the impact of climate change, the energy crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies of developing countries.
Leveraging the summit, President Tinubu rallied investors to take advantage of opportunities in Nigeria as world leaders called for reforms in the global financial system.
He said his administration would sustain the ongoing reforms to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
A statement released by Tinubu’s special adviser on special duties, Dele Alake, on Thursday, June 22, noted that his principal would be meeting with the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud–Basso, among other dignitaries.
“We are challenged in terms of reforms, and we have taken the largest elephant out of the room with removal of fuel subsidy, and multiple exchange rates are equally gone.
“We are determined to open up the economy for business. Consider us a stakeholder in the bank,” Alake quoted Tinubu to have told the Renaud–Basso.
In another meeting with the EBRD boss and the president/chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim), Benedict Oramah, the Nigeria President said, “We are ready for business, prepared to welcome investments,”
Tinubu highlighted agriculture as one of the focuses of his administration, assuring that the Federal government would stimulate the economy with policies that support investments in areas where the country has a competitive advantage.
“We need reforms for national survival,’’ he said, calling for collaboration to solidify the Nigerian economy.
“We must stimulate recovery for the growth and prosperity of our people, which will not be far away. Nigeria is ready for global business, and our reform is total,” he stressed.
Tinubu got Renaud-Basso’s nod when the latter told him that it would be a mistake for the development bank not to invest in Nigeria after considering six potential economies for investment.
“The focus would be on the private sector, especially small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs),” Renaud-Basso said.
Commenting on the intertwined issues of climate change, poverty and fostering of sustainable development, he said Nigeria and other African countries were committed to tackling the problem.
He further declared, “We believe we have more pressing social issues in Africa. The argument has been that world leaders should elevate social issues just like environmental issues. I must commend President Emmanuel Macron, who has brought the issue of poverty to the table. This summit is about climate, people and diversity.
“The severe financial and economic crisis that African countries found themselves in after COVID-19 is all over. There are economic difficulties, and we’ve all realised that public resources would no longer solve the problem. We need to track private capital, and for us to track the capital we need to compete with other countries around the world.
“It is no longer business as usual for African countries. We now need to join the discourse. We need to compete with the rest of the world. We welcome the idea of President Macron to develop Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU) because we feel it is an open free repository that will greatly help African countries.”
In his welcome remark, Macron noted that the existing financial system, which resulted from a past consensus, was efficient in the past and brought assistance that was greatly needed, but that it was no longer fully adaptive, so he proposed a new financial pact.
According to Macron, the summit was for all facing the consequences of a deteriorating planet.
“We can see that inequalities are growing; we have seen that climate change vulnerability adds to the risk and our world is faced with multiple shocks.
“I do not think we can completely change our system, but we can make it much better,” Macron’s remarked.