The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Saratu Umar on Thursday assumed duty to take over the helms of affairs of the Commission.
Speaking on her resumption of duty, she urged members of staff of the commission to work with her in repositioning the NIPC as according to her, “Yesterday is gone. Today is a new day. The past is a place of learning, not a place of living. We must stay focused on today and tomorrow, and how to make tomorrow an even greater day.”
She expressed gratitude to President Buhari for finding her worthy of leading the NIPC.
Umar said her appointment is coming at an important and defining moment for Nigeria with the challenging developments in the country and around the world.
She said, “Our work is indeed cut out for us. It is with a positive attitude, that we must collectively, forge ahead and be on the frontline as effective advocates of investments in Nigeria, with the objective of making our country a top destination for global private capital.
“Therefore, we must stay focused, be development-oriented, and implement strategies for the greater achievement of our mandate.
“Global Foreign Direct Investment markets over the last decade have become more competitive, and the investment promotion thrust of countries that are attracting the largest global market share of FDI inflows are driven by effective, efficient, and performance-driven Investment Promotion Agencies.”
With over 170 Investment Promotion Agencies worldwide competing to channel FDI to their different countries, Umar said it is imperative that the NIPC is positioned to ensure that Nigeria wins in this global market.
She added, “If you would recall, my vision when I assumed duty in 2014 was: ‘to transform NIPC into a gold standard of excellence on the African Continent and a world-class Investment Promotion Agency, that is comparable to any in the world’.
“This vision still remains necessary due to the fact that, as the gateway to the Nigerian economy for investors, NIPC should be a strong and a role model public institution with a private sector orientation.
“It should be an African Industry Leader at the forefront of the investment ecosystem, and it should play a central role in our national development, as contemplated by its Act. Today, I still stand firm on this vision and I want to stress it with an even stronger voice.
“I reiterate that NIPC will be a strong public institution, with a private sector orientation that delivers effective and efficient services that exceed the expectations of all stakeholders in the investment ecosystem and indeed, in Nigeria.”
Giving the pillars of her vision, she said it would be anchored on sound corporate governance practices; corporate accountability and institutional discipline; operational excellence and administrative effectiveness through standardized processes, policies, and systems, amongst others.
She said her vision for NIPC would also be supported by a risk management framework that supports the internal operations, service delivery, mandate, and functions of NIPC
Umar said, “We will listen to, and work with, our stakeholders. Indeed, within the next two months, we will hold the second series of our stakeholder engagement which we started in 2014, with various key stakeholder sessions to discuss their challenges, interact, and obtain feedback towards resolving them and creating synergies that facilitate impact.
“We are on the cusp of history, my dear colleagues, and Nigeria needs an NIPC that will maximally deliver on its mandate. Anything short of a world-class Investment Promotion Agency is simply not acceptable.
“We must keep this reality at the core of our focus, as we forge ahead.”