The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has condemned absence of government officials at a meeting with investors in Washington DC, USA.
Speaking on Saturday in Washington DC at an investment programme organised by the Nigerian Embassy, Sanusi said Nigeria might lose investors because of it.
Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture; Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology; Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture; Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power; Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance; Kayode Fayemi Minister of Solid Minerals, who were all billed for sessions at the event, were absent.
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission; Yemi Osinbajo, vice president and governors were also absent.
Reacting Sanusi said: “For the person sitting in London and who has a billion dollars to invest, he’s got Nigeria, he’s got Ghana, he’s got Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, you may be the biggest economy, but he may decide that rather than go through the hassle of investing $500 million in Nigeria, why not put $100 million in Ghana, $100 million in Rwanda, $100 million in Cote d’Ivore, just to have diversification benefit and the benefit of reaching out.
“We had a meeting today with investors, we were supposed to start by 9am we started at 10. When I came in they took me to the ambassador’s office to sit down, when investors were waiting down there. We had a list of people who were to be here, vice president, ministers, some of them are in town, but they haven’t come up.
“You invite top investors, your ministers are in Washington and they do not come to talk to the investors about Nigeria. That is not how you attract investors. If you have this forum in the Rwandan embassy, I assure you President Kagame himself would be there telling people to come to Rwanda.”
He noted that there was no reason for the absence of the officials and the challenges faced at the beginning of the event. “Sometimes, it is about how we market ourselves, how we package ourselves. There is absolutely no reason for the Nigerian embassy to arrange a Nigeria is open for Business forum with ministers in town, with governors in town and not have the coordination that they are actually here to meet with these investors.
“There is no reason why we should start one hour late, and there is no reason why the public address system should not work. Because at the end of the day, this is the first point of the country, he hasn’t even come to Nigeria so what will be his experience in Abuja and he is saying if I am having this experience in Washington, what will happen when I go to Abuja, when I go to Kano, how do I get to see the governor will it take me 10 hours?” the monarch said.