How the European Union Plans to Invest in Nigeria Will Shock You

The outgoing European Union, EU ambassador to Nigeria and head of the delegation to ECOWAS, Michael Arrion has said that Europeans investors are ready to invest in Nigeria but the country must demonstrate its competitiveness to prove to them that they deserve it.

Michael made this statement while addressing the business community in the Niger Delta last weekend. In a disclosure that marks his departure from Nigeria, the EU ambassador said that any country that wish to attract European Union investments must look inwards and repair those factors that repel the appetite of investors.

In his speech, he made it clear that investor ask a lot of questions a lot of questions that help them get their facts straight before investing in any economic belt.

He believes that if Nigeria should create a more conducive atmosphere, it will attract investors from Europe.

In that same graceful occasion in Port-Harcourt where he was conferred a chieftaincy title, Mr Arrion who worked and lived in Nigeria for 4 years within which he also campaigned for the approval of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) said: “No nation has developed with aid….. Nigeria is rich enough to attract investors from Europe.”

He further to say, “We can through partnership improve the economy of Nigeria and create jobs for the youths; we (European Union) are ready to invest, but competitiveness is the key. EU is looking at the world; we can invest anywhere in the world, including Nigeria. You have to demonstrate that you are better than other nations, you have to create the conducive environment to convince European investors.”

Arrion continued: “There are 47 nations bringing the parts that make a car; Boeing is made in 42 countries; why not Nigeria become the 43rd? Tiles are made in Liberia; why not in Nigeria? This is how to reason to compete. Nigeria, please, create an enabling environment for industries; you have comparative advantage in cotton, palm oil, leather, garments, etc.”

The outgoing European Union ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Arrion said that they see Nigeria as partners not as a market.

Using the same opportunity, Mr Arrion made a clarification on his position on aid to Nigeria, saying: “I never said the European Union will stop or has stopped aid to Nigeria. What I said is that aid was not the solution for Nigeria to develop. No country in the world ever developed with aid. So, what the EU is offering is not more aid, but more partnership, more policy dialogue, more investment from European Union private sector. My position is that Nigeria does not need more aid; Nigeria needs more investments.”

He proceeded to say: “That is not to say that the European Union is stopping aid to Nigeria. Right now, we are still delivering aid to the North East, humanitarian assistance, recovery and reconstruction of the North East. We have compared statistics and we are implementing $400 million aid to the North East. If you can attract investments, you will not need aid anymore.”

In a remark, Ibifri Bobmanuel, the President of the Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum thanked their guest, Mr Arrion saying, “Michael Arrion is a great guy and has served the EU and Nigeria well and with passion.”