Okonjo-Iweala assures on security, as 1,000 to attend WEF
By David Agba
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Monday, in Abuja project that in 26 years’ time (by 2040), Africa would be home to the world’s largest workforce.
This, she said at a press briefing proceeding the World Economic Forum WEF, which begin Wednesday in Abuja, is going by the growth patterns recorded by most African countries at present.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said the security issues have been taken care of, while assuring participants of the federal government’s efforts at ensuring a hitch free summit.
According to get the Minister, over 1000 participants from 70 countries around the world would participate, with 40 of them from Africa, and would be mostly represented by their presidents.
The minister further said investors that have indicated interest to participate inspite of the security challenges to show confidence in the underlying strength of the Nigerian economy.
She said an initiative on special skills would be launched at the beginning of the meeting, with the private sector, civil society organisations as well as the government making inputs.
The minister said the three-day event offers great opportunities for investors in the agricultural, manufacturing, SMEs, housing and creative sectors of the Nigerian economy, urging them take advantage make use of it.
Speaking on the WEF, during a media chat on Sunday evening, President Goodluck Jonathan, expressed confidence that the WEF would attract huge foreign capital into Nigeria and the entire African continent, adding that some prospective participants have indicated their interest to invest billions of dollars into the nation’s economy.
He said two investors had announced that they would be investing $250 and $150 million dollars respectively in the economy.
“If Nigeria gets permanent right to host World Economic Forum on Africa regularly, it may develop infrastructure such as in Davos, Switzerland’’, he enthused.
He explained that the hosting of the forum by Nigeria would help the country in attracting additional investment as well as address the challenges of infrastructure development.
The President said the forum would provide opportunity for international financial institutions as IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and others to discuss their offers for speedy development of Africa.