By Abimbola Ogunnaike
President Bola Tinubu will hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts, or their delegations, from France, the United States of America, Sweden and two others at the Paris Financial Pact Summit, which begins Thursday, 22 June, 2023 with the aim of facilitating foreign direct investment into Nigeria
The Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Dele Alake, who spoke with newsmen in Paris, said the request for meetings with Tinubu is an apparent offshoot of his administration’s economic policies implemented in the past three weeks since assuming office.
“Quite a number of them, the US, France itself, Switzerland and two others. There are so many international financial institutions that are also willing to see him,” Alake told newsmen in Paris on Wednesday, 21 June, 2023
The presidential spokesman said the two-day summit would enable Tinubu, who is on his first foreign trip since his inauguration, to network and attract foreign direct investment to the country.
“The President wants to network with international finance Corporations and countries that would facilitate foreign direct investment into Nigeria.
“Don’t forget that Mr. President has taken some very bold steps in the area of economy, in the area of social engineering in the last few weeks, and particularly with reference to the unification of the multiple exchange rates, which has caused a very positive multiplier effect,” Alake said.
Apart from the immediate, medium and long-term positive effects of the unification policy, Alake said, “There could be a need for an injection of direct foreign exchange into the economy to shore up the value of the naira while market forces stabilise.”
He cited the lifted restrictions on spending done through domiciliary accounts, saying it will “build confidence in the foreign exchange system of Nigeria, which means people abroad can begin to bring in their money into the economy.”
“Even those at home, who have hoarded their dollars for fear of restrictions and all that, will now be more encouraged to bring the dollars into the financial system,” he added.
Despite these, the presidential aide said the country still needs an injection of foreign exchange to build or complement its domestic policies.
“That is the essence of this meeting; it is a global summit and there are several heads of state of developed societies. The President’s policies in the last three weeks have really encouraged these foreign nations and investors to become more interested in the affairs of Nigeria; in shoring up the economy of Nigeria.
“A lot of them are quite interested. Many of them have even indicated interest to meet with Mr. President on this trip,” Alake said.
On Thursday, 22 June and Friday, 23 June, 2023 Tinubu will join other leaders to review and sign a New Global Financial Pact that places vulnerable countries on the priority list for support and investment following the devastating impact of climate change, the energy crisis, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaders will mobilise innovative financing for countries vulnerable to climate change, foster development in low-income countries, and encourage investment in “green” infrastructure for the energy transition in emerging and developing economies.
The President and the other global leaders, multilateral institutions, financial experts and economists will also take a more holistic look at the recovery of economies from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases of poverty to provide access to finance and investment that will leverage inclusive growth.
He returns on Saturday, 24 June, 2023.