Determined to attract international investments to Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday met with major South Korean company chiefs, telling them that Nigeria was reviewing the incentives currently being granted to investors with a view to encouraging international companies willing to invest in Nigeria.
The South Korean corporations whose chiefs met with Jonathan and are desirous of investing in Nigeria include Samsung Heavy Industries Korea; Hyundai Heavy Industries; Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company; Korean Electricity Power Company (KEPCO) and the Shinsung Solar Energy Company.
Jonathan told a delegation from Samsung Heavy Industries, who meet with him on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, that “we are willing to support you to establish industries in Nigeria, and I have instructed the Ministry of Trade and Investment to review the incentives available for investors coming to the country because
my administration is determined to create more jobs for Nigerian youths.”
The President expressed appreciation to Samsung for their ‘significant’ contributions to the development of country’s economy, and requested the company to consider increasing the number of Nigerians being trained, as well as the duration of the training.
Earlier, Mr. In Sik Roh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Samsung Heavy Industries, had expressed appreciation for the privilege to construct the Bonga Oil platform, adding that they were going to commence the training of 20 Nigerians next month.
At a separate audience, President Jonathan told Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company that Nigeria’s gas infrastructure must be upgraded in order to meet the urgent power needs for speedy industrialization of Nigeria.
He said, “we have abundant gas, but we need to evacuate it to the power stations, through a robust development of our gas infrastructure,” adding that bankable packages are being developed to attract international funding.
The President welcomed Daewoo’s proposal to fund infrastructural development in Nigeria at agreeable terms and assured the company of Government support.
Responding, Daewoo’s president and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jong-Uk Seo, said the company had been operating in Nigeria since 1978, and was prepared to fund infrastructural development at agreeable terms to give back to the community and to show confidence in Nigeria’s future.
The president also granted audience to the delegation of Hyundai Heavy Industries, led by Mr. I. S. Chun, Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer; and another delegation of JD International, led by Mr. David Lee, President/Chief Executive Officer.
Jonathan told the delegation of the Korean Electricity Power Company (KEPCO) that “we have noticed that things are not moving as fast as we would like. So, we are fast-tracking the process.”
He acknowledged that changing from exclusive monopoly to a liberalized power production and supply was not easy, but the challenges were being sorted out, adding that a new tariff had been approved to encourage investors.
President Jonathan assured KEPCO that the necessary mechanism was already in place to enable them invest in the Nigerian power sector.
Earlier, KEPCO president/chief Executive officer, Mr. Joong-Kyum Kim, had said his company desired to strengthen their investment in the Nigerian power sector, adding that they had a robust partnership with Nigeria’s Sahara Oil.
He said KEPCO had the experience and capacity to participate actively in the development of any facet of Nigeria’s power mix.
During another audience, President Jonathan welcomed the proposal by Shinsung Solar Energy to establish a plant to manufacture solar panels in Nigeria, especially because solar power has the capacity to supply power to the most remote parts of the country, at little or no maintenance cost.
He said Government was ready to provide incentives to companies like Shinsung, adding that all facets of the national economy will benefit from solar power.
The chairman of Shinsung Solar Energy and leader of the delegation, Mr. Lee Wan Keun, said his company was already working to provide power to the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, and this could be extended to all facets of Nigerian life, freeing conventional power supply for industrial use.