Nigerian President Bola Tinubu embarked on a transformative journey to India, defying the fatigue of a 15-hour intercontinental flight, to engage in high-stakes investment talks with Mr. Prakash Hinduja, Chairman and CEO of the Hinduja Group of Companies.
The meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, was a resounding success as President Tinubu secured a commitment of billions of dollars in investments for Nigeria.
The President is in India for a six-day official visit, during which he will attend the G-20 Leaders’ Summit amongst other engagements. The Boeing 737 conveying the President and his entourage, touched down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, at about 6:40 pm local (2:10 pm Nigerian) time.
Before participating in the summit slated for September 9 – 10, 2023, the President will attend several high-level meetings and engagements with other world leaders and business executives on the sidelines of the Summit.
Upon his arrival in New Delhi on Tuesday, President Tinubu wasted no time in diving into discussions with Mr. Hinduja, a prominent Indian industrialist.
Accompanied by Nigeria’s Ministers of Finance, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs, President Tinubu conveyed his unwavering commitment to making Nigeria a haven for investors and a land of economic opportunity for its citizens.
In a direct statement, President Tinubu declared, “We are here for business. I am here to personally assure our friends and investors that there is no bottleneck that I will not break.
“Nigeria will become one of the most conducive places on earth to make good profits and create lasting jobs. With my support, nothing is standing in your way of enjoying the unrivaled opportunities presented by our massive market and the ingenious, and hardworking nature of the Nigerian people. We are open for business.”
Mr. Hinduja, visibly enthusiastic about the prospects of working with President Tinubu, commended the President’s previous achievements as Governor of Lagos, specifically in transforming a coastal erosion crisis into a thriving free trade zone.
He expressed his readiness to invest billions of dollars in Nigeria, primarily focusing on bus and automobile manufacturing.
“We believe in you as a leader who has done this before. You know what the challenges are. You know how to fix them. I am ready now to sign an MoU and to begin execution. You tell me who to liaise with, and we will get to work immediately,” Mr. Hinduja pledged.
Responding promptly to Mr. Hinduja’s commitment, President Tinubu instructed his ministers, stating, “Ministers of Trade and Finance, the two of you will follow this up immediately, and you will draw up the terms to the satisfaction of both parties. If there are any issues at all that require my intervention, they must be brought to my attention immediately.”
The Hinduja Group Chairman expressed his optimism that President Tinubu’s purpose-driven approach and leadership would expedite the investment process, eliminating bureaucratic obstacles that had hindered previous efforts.
“I have had paperwork stalled in Nigerian bureaucracy for over one year, especially in FCT, but I knew that you would be purpose-driven in this endeavor, and God will help you to turn Nigeria’s rich promise into a rich reality for all of its citizens,” Mr. Hinduja concluded.
President Tinubu emphasized the importance of teamwork and collaboration in realizing his vision of a prosperous Nigeria, where hard work is rewarded, and excellence is the nation’s reputation.