Posted by News Express | 29 January 2016 | 3,128 times
The Nigeria House Project Committee for the Rio Olympic Games is setting sights on wooing direct foreign investments into Nigeria worth $22 billion.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, had reconstituted and inaugurated the committee earlier this week in Abuja.
The Project Coordinator, Mohammed Abdullahi, who is also the project’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), told newsmen on Thursday, following the seven-man committee’s inaugural meeting, that the members were working at hitting the ground to achieve success.
He said the committee wanted to ensure Nigeria appropriately utilised the Games, starting from the 2016 edition at Rio in Brazil in August, the way many other countries have done.
“The Olympics presents a big opportunity for Nigeria to rebrand and promote its potential through the showcasing of her rich and diverse cultural heritage and products.
“This is by giving opportunity to stakeholders to attract skills and investors to Nigeria.
“We are going to use the Olympics to achieve this, beginning from the Rio edition in Brazil, because the Olympics remain a global brand and the highest sporting fiesta in the world which brings together about 205 countries.”
He said the Games offer a highly corporate and qualitative hospitality platform to promote the tourism, business and investment climate of countries and individuals.
Abdullahi said his committee would be looking towards leveraging on what was on ground in the area of Nigeria-Brazil relations.
“For instance, Nigeria has a robust investment drive with Brazil. From my records, Nigeria in 2002 generated $1.6 billion in trade from Brazil and in 2012, it rose to $9.1 billion and above.
“This year, we are looking at generating four times that amount.
“This will be through critical sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, transport and aviation, tourism and culture, environment, telecoms/ICT and housing/estate development.”
The project coordinator said states in the country, in this regard, have a unique opportunity to market their endowments as the Nigeria House would provide a platform for them.
He said they would be able to showcase and enjoy direct business meetings with prospective investors on a daily basis all through the Olympics.
“Corporate bodies will also have branding opportunities to participate in the Nigeria House activities, because of the huge mileage it presents under the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The Nigeria House Project CEO said the committee’s twin mission then was to win medals for Nigeria and a lot of investments for the country also.
He however pointed out that the participation of Nigerians in the Diaspora would be critical in the quest to attract direct foreign investment.
Abdullahi said activities at the Nigeria House would include business conferences, exhibitions, cuisine and fashion shows, tours of Brazil and sightseeing.
“There will also be musical concerts, cultural promotions of our artefacts and arts, sponsorship networking and entertainment every night.” (NAN)
•Photo shows Sports Minister Solomon Dalung.
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