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Vice President Mohammed Sambo has said that the Nigerian business environment is very attractive and loaded with several incentives.

The Vice President stated this on Tuesday, when he received in audience in his office at the State House, Abuja the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji.

He enumerated such incentives to include tax holidays, duty exemptions; favourable tariff regimes to discourage smuggling and encourage local manufacture; timely visa issuance; waivers for agricultural goods among several other incentives as enshrined in the administration’s Transformation Agenda.

Sambo expressed delight with the interest of the Japanese business community in Nigeria, stressing that Nigerian was full of opportunities for any willing investor, stating that the requirement for doing business in Nigeria by Japanese companies would be looked into closely to ensure that international best practices were applied and to ensure things are done in record time.

Similarly, Vice President Sambo stressed that in order to discourage smuggling of manufactured goods government through deliberate policy have instituted necessary measures in stemming the tide. He noted that government was working towards strengthening the ECOWAS tariff to give local manufacturers the enabling environment to thrive.

The Vice President noted the efforts of the Japanese government in the Jebba Hydro Power project rehabilitation through the Japanese yen loan and stressed that efforts would be made to meet with Ministries of Power and Finance to ensure that they proceed with the project soon.

On the BRASS-LNG, the Vice President said that currently work was on going and that NNPC had been directed to expedite action, maintaining that gas was a commodity whose development was even locally required to service the nation’s industries as well as power needs.

He thanked the Japanese government for the offer to build the capacity of the country’s personnel through education in science and other related fields, but said that government was also doing a lot in that direction.

He informed the envoy of Nigeria’s commitment to the provision of good governance, assuring them that he would speak with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to ensure the speedy resolution of the issue regarding the land allocated to the Embassy in the Federal Capital Territory.

Earlier, the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, stated that several Japanese investors have indicated strong interest in investing in Nigeria, calling on government to ensure the observance of international best practices by government agencies for ease in doing business in the country.

He said government should improve on Visa and immigration services, security and public safety issues, infrastructure; favourable trade climate and taxation, as well as international wire transfer. He called on government to consolidate on the Japanese loan for the Jebba power project, adding that the Japanese government would support Nigeria in building her capacity, especially in the sciences.

Mr. Shoji stated that the Japanese Government was a major promoter and supporter of the implementation of the automobile policy, stressing that Japanese automobile industries led by Nissan and others such as Toyota and Honda, are ready to set up manufacturing industries in the country, appealing to government to curb the challenges posed by smugglers operating in the automobile industry.

Present at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Martin Uhomoibhi and Mr. Kazuhito Kibana, First Secretary, Economic/Development Cooperation of the Japanese Embassy in Nigeria and other top government functionaries.

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