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Look beyond current global challenges for opportunities in Africa, Buhari tells investors

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Madrid, extended fiscal investment incentives to Spanish investors to ramp up a long-term business partnership between the two countries.

This was as he said, increased collaboration with African nations kike Nigeria could be what all of Europe needs to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges.

Buhari revealed the incentives when he addressed the Spain-Nigeria Business Meeting organised by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment during his ongoing 3-day State Visit to Spain.

According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President enumerated the incentives to include: three to five years of tax holidays for enterprises in what we deem to be pioneer industries; tax-free operations and no restrictions on expatriate quotas in our Free Trade Zones; capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering amongst others.

Buhari also called on investors to look beyond the challenges currently facing the world and focus on the opportunities they present. According to him, there are no challenges without opportunities and solutions.

“It is currently a challenging time for the global economy. But I have always held the strong conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity and solution. Increased collaboration with African nations could well be what Europe needs to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges and improve both our economic opportunities,” he said.

The President added that the business meeting provided ample opportunity to advance trade relations between the two nations, which are today principally dominated by the oil and gas sector.

“I believe this forum is an excellent platform to establish and strengthen business relationships, share valuable experience, and collaborate for the mutual benefit of our countries.

“For quite a number of decades, Spain has been one of Nigeria’s most important trading partners. It is, for example, a major importer of Nigerian crude oil. Nigeria’s exports to Spain stood at $4.8bn in 2020 whilst Spain’s exports to Nigeria increased from $97.2m in 1995 to $517m in 2020. A lot more can be done to increase the volume of trade and today presents a good opportunity to explore how this can be achieved,” Buhari said.

He, therefore, called on investors at the meeting to take advantage of the opportunities that the Nigerian market offers, saying: “We are open to widening collaboration with Spain and in order to encourage private capital inflow, we have put together fiscal investment incentives which include the following: three to five years tax holidays for enterprises in what we deem to be pioneer industries; tax-free operations and no restrictions on expatriate quotas in our Free Trade Zones; capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering amongst others.”

He explained that growing into partnerships with trusted local and foreign partners who have well-established networks and understand the dynamics of the economy and country is one of the identified keys to success in Nigeria.

“Today provides a platform for Spanish businesses to connect with credible Nigerian partners. I trust that all present here will build relationships that will translate into increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and Spain,” he added.

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