The Nigerian government on Tuesday said it will no longer tolerate criminal adventurers and their local collaborators who exploit the socio-economic environment to sabotage the nation under the guise of bringing business to the country.
President Bola Tinubu disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the second edition of the Africa Energy and Natural Resources Investment Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Dear investors, we are determined to create conducive conditions for true entrepreneurs. We welcome you and will do everything we can to help law-abiding businesses operate in our country.
“However, we will no longer tolerate criminal adventurers and their local collaborators who exploit our socio-economic environment to sabotage our nation under the pretext of generating business. Those who are caught will face the full wrath of our laws,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu, represented by George Akume, Secretary to the Nigerian Government, said Nigeria is open to companies developing their resources with genuine partners.
“Nigeria is open for business. We are willing to develop the resources that God has given us with genuine partners who share with our people the vision of an equitable distribution of the wealth produced in our country.
“We are ready to preach the example of Renewed Hope with lovers of human development to achieve the sustainable development goals of banishing poverty, disease and hunger from our homeland,” he said.
He added that the current administration will awaken the sleeping giant that is the solid minerals sector today, to play its strategic role in the economy by providing jobs for the people, improving accruable revenues for the government and establishing an industrial sector that will be the envy of the world.
He explained that Nigerians did it with the oil sector against all odds.
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“Oil became our biggest source of income. We will do it again with the solid minerals sector, wiser and better because we have learned useful lessons. The sector’s challenges are enough to overwhelm investors.
“Indiscriminate and illegal mining in rich regions deprives our country of enormous income; the threat of bandits oppressing villagers and exploiting mines to raise money for the insurgency is a national emergency; The lack of complete and certified data to guide investment financing deprives the sector of critical funds.
“Allegations of aggressive practices in the licensing process undermine our commitment to transparency. These challenges and more are well known to this administration,” he said.
Tinubu assured that his administration is addressing concerns about the ease of doing business in the mining sector.
“A new sheriff has come to town and the status quo will no longer be the same. Let me state that those responsible for the state of affairs are advised to change or they will be changed. The penalties for these acts of economic sabotage are in the laws and we will apply them to the letter,” he added.