2 April 2011

Nigeria: The Country Fourth Fastest Growing Economy - UK Govt

The UK Government in London described Nigeria as the fourth fastest growing economy in the world.

Mr Henry Bellingham, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State For Africa and Overseas Territories, said this at a two-day investment forum tagged: "Making Nigeria Your Goal."

"Nigeria has averaged growth of 8.9 per cent which is really stunning.

"Nigeria is the world's fourth fastest growing economy with solid growth in the next five years and beyond ; this is truly remarkable," he said.

Bellingham said the Nigerian economy may outpace that of South Africa in the next 10 years if the current reform in the banking sector was extended to the power, oil and gas sectors.

He commended the Lagos Government for good governance, fiscal responsibility and infrastructure development, saying the state was a model.

Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Managing Director of Access Bank PLC, said the event was an opportunity to consolidate on the economic gains that had characterised trans-border economic relations between the two countries.

Aig-Imoukhuede, whose presentation was entitled, "Nigeria: Your Market," cited some sectors that had contributed to the real growth of the nation's GDP in the last five years.

These, he said, include telecommunications accounting for 7.5 per cent; construction 6.4 per cent; food and beverages 3 per cent, agriculture 31.9 per cent; cement 1.3 per cent as well as oil and gas 25 per cent.

Earlier, Mr Ben Akabueze, Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, highlighted some investment opportunities in the state.

He cited the areas of investment to include power, water supply, real estate and road transport.

Akabueze said the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ), when fully completed, would give priority to manufacturing, warehousing and provision of logistics for industries in the zone.

"The LFZ is turning into a new industrial city as well as a multi-functional special economic zone of Lagos metropolis," he added.

The second leg of the event will continue in Manchester under the same theme.

Participants at the forum were drawn from the organised private sector in Nigeria, the Nigeria High Commission and UK businesses. NAN

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