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Nigeria’s President leaves for WEF, AU Summit

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan will leave the capital city of Abuja Monday on a trip that will take him to Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Ethiopia for the African Union (AU) Summit, the presidency said in a statement made available to PANA here Sunday.

The statement said President Jonathan would use the occasion of the WEF to draw the attention of the international business finance community to Nigeria’s immense investment potentials.

It said that at a meeting with an Eminent Persons Group on Nigeria’s Transformation Agenda in Geneva on Tuesday, the President will lead a drive to attract greater foreign expertise and capital to boost his administration’s efforts to rapidly modernise and positively transform Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

Members of the Group include Mr. Bill Gates, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Kanayo Nwanze, President of the Africa Development Bank Donald Kaberuka and the Chairman of the Del Monte Produce Group, Mr. Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh.

On Wednesday, a special session of the annual meeting of the world’s leading businessmen and industrialists at the WEF in Davos, the President will also promote new incentives for investment in Nigeria’s agricultural sector targeted at attracting greater international support for the establishment of a much more successful and profitable agro-allied industry in the country.

The statement said the session would also focus on ongoing policy and institutional reforms in the sector, the establishments of staple crop processing zones and medium to long term financing options for agriculture in Nigeria.

On Thursday, President Jonathan is scheduled to host a private session with representatives of leading multinational companies under the auspices of the Business Interactive Group on Nigeria.

The President will also seize the opportunity of his participation in special sessions of the WEF, titled “De-Risking Africa” and “Africa’s Promise” to draw fresh global attention to the great opportunities which ongoing reforms and deregulation, privatisation and commercialisation of former public sector monopolies have opened up for willing investors in key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as oil and gas, power supply, communications, transportation and agriculture.

President Jonathan will meet privately with the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands and Norway, the President of Costa Rica and the Chief Executive Officers of the Huawei Technologies Company, Total and Coca-Cola Worldwide on the sidelines of the WEF.

The Nigerian leader is expected to leave Switzerland on Friday for the AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, where he will confer with other African leaders on action to resolve the boundary dispute between Sudan and South Sudan as well as fresh and ongoing initiatives to restore peace, security, political stability and normalcy to Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Jonathan will be accompanied on his trip by several ministers and other top government officials.


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