A Nigerian professional forum in the U.S. has put measures in place to attract an estimated $3 billion investment into the Nigerian economy in the next three years.
The Nigerian American Business Forum (NABF) stated at its 2019 Investment Conference with the theme: ‘Entrepreneurship in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’ at Tampa, Florida.
The President of the forum, Mr Kenneth Shobola, said the forum aimed to impact the wealth of experience of accomplished Nigerian Diasporas for the rapid development of their homeland.
Shobola said: “We are attracting a $3 billion investment over a three-year period. We have already identified some areas where there’s deficiencies such as healthcare.
“We know there are opportunities to stem this scourge of medical tourism by looking at dilapidated hospitals or healthcare establishments that need restructuring and administrative services in addition to bringing experts in to run such facilities the way we do that here in the U.S..
“We are looking at establishing and integrating the most current diagnostics techniques and treatments options based on the expertise we have here in the United States.
“Some experts such as cardiologists, neurologists, ophthalmologist, surgical interventions in the areas of cancer, diabetes and a lot of the common diseases that tend to plague our people.
“So I’m very excited about what we can do in the energy space as well and those types of areas where there are numerous opportunities for intervention as the diasporas.
“Overall, our goal is to get to 100 per cent of youth employment; we have massive youth unemployment at this stage, our goal is to continue to do what we are doing to attain 100 per cent youth employment.
“It’s a tall order but we believe that the diasporas intervening along complementing the efforts of government and the private sector in Nigeria, I believe we can get there.”
Dr David Ikudayisi, a geriatric medicine doctor at Glory Medical Clinic, said Nigeria could soon become the medical tourism capital through the regenerative medicine and hormone replacement therapy specialisations.
Ikudayisi said: “Why should Nigerians travel to India to seek medical attention? Can you imagine Nigeria being the cancer treatment capital of Africa?
“Regenerative medicine can help address health challenges in Nigeria. The wealth of a nation can be measured by the health of the citizens. Nigeria has poor health indices.
“One of the reasons is that most Nigerians do not embrace preventive medicine. Regenerative medicine can help reduce our mortality rate in Nigeria, thereby enhancing our health indices.”
Deputy Head of Mission at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC, Amb. Hassan Hassan, challenged NABF to proffer practicable solutions to Nigeria’s challenges considering their wealth of experience in the U.S.
Hassan said: “You are the diasporas, the real ambassadors of Nigeria. I commend your efforts because you did not break your relationships and connections to your home country.
“Nigerians are hard working people, business-oriented and dogged entrepreneurs. We are not bad people, even though we have a few bad eggs.”
The Keynote Speaker at the conference and Chairman of Channels Television, Mr John Momoh, said there were diverse opportunities for investment in Nigeria, adding that entrepreneurship was key to Africa’s development.
“The media is a catalyst for the entrepreneur through the provision of knowledge,” he said and enjoined Nigerians in the Diaspora to come home and join others to build the nation.
“I enjoin you all to come home and partner with us to set the ‘giant of Africa’ on her feet,” Momoh said adding, “let us arise and build Nigeria together, let us plant a seed.”
Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, President of the National Council of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, said Nigeria was the number one most preferred destination for private equity investment in the next three year.
Abimbola said Nigeria had the potential of attracting seven per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth with a $1.6 billion GDP by 2030.
According to him, Nigeria also has the potential to move 70 million people out of poverty by and a top 20 economy by 2050. (NAN)