MasterwebNews 24/11/15 - NIDOE A Vehicle For Transfer of Foreign Investment To Nigeria

[ Masterweb Reports: Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Masterweb Special Correspondent reports ] - The Nigerians in diaspora organization Europe (NIDOE) annual general meeting recently held on November 12 – 15 in Stockholm Sweden has opened a flood gate of business, investment interest and business opportunities between Nigeria and Sweden. The three day event which featured a Nigeria – Sweden Business Summit which attracted corporate participants and government agencies was hosted by NIDO Swedish chapter in collaboration with Swedish chamber trade, Nigerian embassy, Swedish West Africa Chamber of Commerce – SWACC and NIDOE. Declaring the summit open, the president of NIDOE, DR. George Manuwuike stated that NIDO acts as interface between Nigerian professionals in diaspora, the federal government and would -be investors from Europe to Nigeria. Stating that the new government in Nigeria is interested in bringing investors to Nigeria. And he urged the participants to use the summit as a stepping stone for a larger cooperation between Sweden and Nigeria as both countries stand to gain a lot from each other.


In the opening speech by the host Ambassador, Her Excellency, Mrs. Jane A. Ndem (Charge d’ Affairs, Nigerian Embassy Sweden) she highlighted on the transformations that have taken place in Nigeria especially on the peaceful election and democratic transition and how that offers enabling ground for investors. According to the Ambassador, a successful transition in the African contest indicates that the country has matured democratically. The President has been the chief marketing officer since May 29, assuring foreign investors about the business opportunities in Nigeria. She identified corruption as the biggest demon hindering business investments. The President has declared war against corruption. And once corruption is addressed, that will open the free flow of business. She stated that the current challenges that arise from power, mining and agriculture are challenges but at the same time opportunities. Nigeria has the enabling ground for investment and is a window to Africa. The Nigerian government has established the foreign investment council to boost investment in Nigeria. And Nigeria has the largest market in Africa She therefore urged Swedish investors to take the current challenges as opportunities to create wealth.


Among the areas of interest for investment by the Swedish corporate participants includes, green technology, waste management, water purification and solar energy.


Our Foreign Correspondent who was in Stockholm to attend the event had interview with the NIDOE chairman Dr. George Manuwuike. Below are the excerpts.


Que.To what extent has NIDOE gone to achieve its founding objectives?


Ans. We are working towards that objective. The plans are realizable. That includes the transfer of technology to Nigeria scientifically, financially, human capital development also giving the government a quality formation. We might not have gotten there but we are sure of getting there.


Que. What are the immediate challenges facing NIDOE?


Ans. The immediate challenges we have are challenges that bother on membership. Bringing together professional Nigerians who could have formed the critical mark of moving the organization agenda forward. But we are mobilizing our members and creating the enabling environment to bring on board those Nigerians that we believe have the wherewithal to help us in achieving these objectives. It is a working progress. The challenges are there also back home, we have not been able to have correct interface between NIDOE and the federal government to be able to work together towards achieving this objective. But with the present administration, we hope to achieve this because the government has given us the indication that they are interested in working closely with the Diaspora.


So we believe some of these challenges we have been having over the years would be resolved through government collaboration. Also, we are confident we would be able to cross some of these hurdles that have bedeveled the organization in the past through collaboration with the National assembly. For example, the Senate has created a committee on Diaspora. And so this committee will be saddled with the responsibility of working closely with us. And we shall help them formulate policies that will be in the best interest of NIDO. Also we are aware that the house of Representatives has a committee on Diaspora affairs. And the chairperson of that committee Honorable Rita Orji is desirous of working with us to ensure that the objectives and visions of NIDO are realized within the very possible time.


Que. What is the relationship between NIDOE and the Embassies?


Ans. The relationship has been cordial to a large extent. The Embassies have been doing their best to support the NIDOE cause. We desire more. The transformation has been progressive. The awareness has been created and NIDOE has their structural set ups in various Embassies. It is now left with the various chapters to plug into these structures to make sure they realize the purpose for which they were set up.


Worthy of note is the high level and manner of proper coordination the plenary session was conducted. The session was a hob-nob of Nigerian professionals who came as delegates from various chapters and countries of Europe. Interesting and commendable is the mature manner and discipline exhibited by the delegates on issues. Despite their different views on issues, they expressed their views on matters objectively and in orderly manners, a rare feat unusually not common among meetings of most Nigerian organizations. Even the National assembly should take a cue from NIDOE.


*Photo Caption – NIDO logo

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