Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has challenged Nigerians to portray the country positively before the world to boost investor’s confidence.
Governor Okowa spoke yesterday, when members of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) led by its national president and chairman of Council, Prof. Segun Ajibola, who paid him a courtesy call in Asaba.
“There is no doubt that we are in a very difficult financial situation in our country and I believe that we need to begin to find ways to sell a good image of our country outside because, it is very common for us to see the press highlighting the very negative aspect of our country and that will not help us grow and unfortunately, sometimes too, as government, we have also made the mistakes of actually making more pronounced the negative aspect of the country and that is not good for investments at all.”
The governor who observed that Nigeria is too endowed to be poor, “as much as possible, for every Nigerian, we need to show the right attitude and also project the best of our country and try to play down those aspects that may not portray the nation in a positive light. With the human capacity, work ethic and natural resources, Nigeria is a sure place for people to invest in.”
He stated that when investments are thriving in the country, there will be less crisis and more employment opportunities and used the occasion to challenge CIBN to proffer solutions to high cost of funds and interest rates which has discouraged a lot of local industrialists.
“I hope that in your top priorities, you will continue to fashion out policies that will truly help the people, especially in partnerships with the various banks because, we need to begin to redirect the rules that govern our various financial institutions in the lending process in particular, bearing in mind that at the moment, it is not very encouraging and most times, it does not encourage the productive sector of our economy.
“The situation with the lending process is getting very worrisome because, most of the countries that are developing are moving much faster than us due to the fact that the cost of funds is less and the integrity process of other countries is much better than ours. So, all these are issues that we expect your institute to work on and you have to sit and think of the best ways to move our financial status forward.”
He emphasised that the CIBN should boost the confidence of the people in the banking sector because, a “stronger banking institution will bring about foreign direct investments.”
Earlier, Prof. Ajibola commended governor Okowa’s administration for its commitment towards developing the state, disclosing that they were in Delta State “to create synergy among all stakeholders in the banking and finance sector.”