As Nigerians continued to criticise Ministers and other government officials over their alleged absence at the US-Nigeria Investment Summit at the just concluded Spring Meetings of the World Bank Meeting in Washington DC, USA, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, Monday, denied being in US as at the time of the meeting.
Kachikwu said he remained committed to delivering the major aspirations of the #7BigWins of which Business and Investment Drive is a key theme.
A statement by the Director of Press in the Ministry, Mr. Idang Alibi, said the Minister was not in the US as reported and was not billed to attend the summit.
He further explained that the Minister was in the United Kingdom where he had just concluded the facilitation of a key investment meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Royal Dutch Shell Plc, led by the CEO, Bernardus Van Beurden, in London.
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, had on Saturday described as unacceptable, the attitude of Nigerian ministers and governors who were billed to speak at a special function to attract investors to the country at the Nigerian house in Washington DC.
The event, the US-Nigeria Investment Summit 2018, was organised by the Nigerian embassy in conjunction with a private firm. The occasion tagged, “Nigeria is Open for Business” was designed to bring under one roof, decision makers from Nigeria, US officials, entrepreneurs, investors, chief executive officers of renowned corporations and their representatives, the academia and other interested individuals and groups.
The emir, who spoke with reporters after the session on Private Equity and Financing, chaired by Nigerian businessman, Mohammed Indimi, Chairman/CEO, Oriental Energy Resource, expressed disappointed at the lack of interest exhibited by the Nigerian officials towards the event.
The programme of event had indicated that the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Petroleum, Ibe Kwachukwu; Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; Information, Lai Mohammed; Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi; and Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, were all billed to address the gathering.
But none of the Ministers showed up as at lunch time when over 50 per cent of them should have spoken.
Emir Sanusi who was visibly angry said: “We had a meeting today with investors, we were supposed to start by 9am and we started at 10. When I came in they took me to the ambassadors office to sit down, when investors were waiting down there. We had a list of people who were to be there, vice president, minsters, some of them are in town, but they didn’t come. You invite top investors, your ministers are in Washington and they do not come to talk to the investors about Nigeria. That is not how you attract investors.’’
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