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…As HIIC Coordinator Tasks Media On Positive Reportage

Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, has insisted that the country’s economic would hit five trillion if the present growth rate is sustained.

Speaking at the end of the Honorary International Investments Council (HIIC), in London, Mr. Aganga noted that Nigeria has over the last 14 years recorded improvement in terms of growth environment in its economy.

The Honorary International Investments Council (HIIC), a group that comprises of prominent investors across the globe that advises the federal government on investment drives.

The 13th HICC meeting was chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo and coordinated by Baroness Lynda Chalker.

According to the Minister, "We are delighted to note and hear from an independent source globally and internationally acknowledged source that in the last 14 years for example, Nigeria has been one of the biggest improvement in items of the growth environment score, which is an indication of the economy that is growing.

"It is also pleasing to note that if Nigeria sustains this improvement in its growth environmental score for the next 14years, it could become a five trillion economy which will put it ahead of a number of countries.

"So, the good news is that we are in a right position, we are in a better position to drive our growth and development going forward. Recognising that Nigeria has been growing by seven percent for the last 14 years is a high return environment. These have been confirmed by the number and quality of investors investing in the real sector of the economy", Mr. Aganga insisted.

The Minister asserted that Nigeria’s macro economy was on the right track, as available indicators have shown.

He added: "We spent some time looking at the macro economy. The good news from that is that Nigeria has a very good and compelling story to share with the world. It has a strong and stable macroeconomic environment. From all indicators, exchange rate has been stable for quite some time. Nigeria credit rating has just been upgraded when you compared to other countries that have been downgraded.

"So, it's a very different story, it is strong, it is positive and investors are reacting to this positively all over the world. People are excited about the credit of Nigeria, they are excited about the credit of the country and we have seen a lot of investors in the country.

"One of the decisions that were made which council agreed on is that council support the reforms of the federal government and its strategy for addressing those reforms. The message is that Nigeria has changed and it has compelling indicator facts to support this".

The Council however, noted that more needed to be done to project Nigeria positively to the outside world.

The HIIC Coordinator, Mrs. Chalker, urged the Nigerian media to shift focus from negativity to positive projection of the country to the outside world.

"As I said in Abuja at the last meeting in July, Nigeria has real opportunities and I hope that you members of the press will talk about these real opportunities. You actually let your own country down when you focus on negative. We have to see what we can do to make sure you focus more on the positive because really it is there", Baroness Chalker noted.

She maintained that the security challenge currently been experienced in some parts of the country would not a negative effect on investment drive, insisting that the media should shift attention to reporting the positive developments at home while governments focuses its energy on addressing the security challenges in the north.

Mrs. Chalker described the meeting as one of the "the most energetic and exciting meetings in recent time saying “we have heard presentations from members of the council and members of the government.”

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