See Africa as destination for growth- Tinubu tells IFC

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday in Abuja called on international development financiers to see Africa as a destination for growth and prosperity.

The President made the call at a meeting with a delegation of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), led by its Managing Director, Mr Makhtar Diop.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports IFC is a member of the world Bank Group and the largest global development institution that focuses, exclusively, on the private sector.

Tinubu urged the corporation to consider more strategic investments in agriculture, infrastructure, research, and development on the continent.

‘The IFC and the World Bank need to see Africa differently. I am glad an African is at the helm of affairs at IFC, and as an African, understands that the potential for growth, peace, stability and prosperity is here.

‘The world has to see us as a continent that can help the rest of the world, and not perceive us as backwards, unstable and with leadership problems.

‘The expectations of the r
est of the world on Africa have to change.

‘They must see Africa as a potential opportunity and not a danger to the rest of the free world, so that we can stimulate growth and propel inclusiveness,’ he said.

The President added: ‘You are at the helm now and in a position to change the perception. We are ready to change the narrative and work with you. Africa is open for business, regardless of whatever the perception may be.

‘I am an African and proud to be and will maintain the strong position to collaborate with the rest of the world to see Africa as a destination for growth and prosperity.’

Tinubu acknowledged that Nigeria held the second-largest IFC portfolio in Africa with an active investment portfolio of 2.1 billion dollars as of April 2024.

He also highlighted the importance of some critical infrastructure projects embarked upon by his administration, such as the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway and the Sokoto-Badagry Expressway.

‘We have made various attempts in the past to create dams, but
issues with reticulation and irrigation remain.

‘When we consider the living conditions in rural areas where crops are produced, how much funding is allocated for rural roads to expedite transportation to consumer centres?

‘The goal of the coastal road and the Sokoto-Badagry Highway is to address this,’ the President said.

In his remarks, Diop informed the President that during his working visit to Nigeria, the IFC had engaged in productive discussions with Nigerian partners to enhance agriculture, increase food production through irrigation farming, upgrade transport networks, and bolster regional integration.

He announced that IFC had signed a 23.3 million dollar loan agreement with Johnvents Industries Limited, a leading agribusiness for economic development and agricultural transformation company, to develop the cocoa sector.

‘We are supporting small and medium enterprises in the agricultural sector, and they are doing very interesting things.

‘We need to bring in more big players into food producti
on in the country,’ Diop said.

He added that the Corporation was ready to partner the Nigerian government on new investments in irrigation, road infrastructure, and logistics around the airport under a Public Private Partnership.

Diop congratulated President Tinubu on his one year in office and commended his bold decisions to revamp Africa’s largest economy.

He pledged IFC’s commitment to long-term investment in Nigeria, adding that its single largest investment in Africa was in Nigeria, where it had invested 1.2 billion dollars in the fertiliser industry.

‘We are here to support you. The world has been facing a lot of shocks and difficult situations which have affected many African economies,’ Diop said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria