Investments: We must avoid past mistakes —Buhari

From right, Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah; President Muhammadu Buhari; President/CEO, Ford Motor Company, South Africa and chairperson, African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), Mr Jeff Nemeth, Managing Director/ Raf-S (Nissan) and National Association of Auto Manufacturers, Mr Mike Whitefield and the Director, Ford Middle East and Africa Region for Government Affairs, Ms Simonetta Verdi, during a meeting at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration is trying not to repeat the mistakes of past  governments in its investment drive.

Speaking on Tuesday, at the State House, Abuja, while receiving executive members of Association of Africa Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), led by the chairman, Mr Jeff Nemeth, he explained that Nigeria, as a country, recognised her problems early enough, but remained potential for too long and so did not achieve much results.

President Buhari said in order to reverse the trend, “we must avoid the mistakes made in the past by both government and manufacturers,” adding that “we are ready to get investment from all quarters, so that we can improve the lives of our people.”

The president lamented that Nigeria failed to develop on automobile initiatives started in Bauchi, Kaduna and Ibadan, but depended too much on oil as mainstay of her economy.

“We are making efforts to start our steel industry all over again. I see vast opportunities for both the country and those who invest here,” the president said.

Nemeth said the association comprised potential investors, who were ready to unlock investment potentials on the African continent.

“We are ready to offer strategic partnership with Nigeria. We want to promote investor-friendly regulatory frameworks and sustainable manufacturing.

“We will equally promote infrastructure development, job creation and skills transfer,” he said.

The AAAM chairman sought the support of the Presidency in the realisation of the vision and mission of the association.