President Bola Tinubu yesterday in New Delhi met with Mr Prakash Hinduja, the chairman and CEO of the Hinduja Group of Companies, a conglomerate with a total asset portfolio exceeding $100 billion.
Presidential spokeman, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement, said the Indian industrialist was received by the president within 90 minutes of his arrival in India for a meeting, which began around 8:00pm local time.
He said accompanied to the meeting by the Ministers of Finance, Trade & Industry, and Foreign Affairs, Tinubu made it clear to his first visitor that he is in India with one focus: attracting investments to Nigeria with lucrative opportunities for investors, but most essentially, jobs for Nigerians and new revenue opportunities for Nigeria’s federal and sub-national governments.
“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, there is nothing 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,” the president firmly assured.
Hinduja said he was a living witness to Tinubu’s landmark effort as governor of Lagos in turning a coastal erosion and water encroachment crisis into a massive free trade zone where industry now thrives.
This, he said, was partially responsible for his excitement to partner with Tinubu to create win-win prosperity for Nigeria’s talented population.
“We believe in you as a leader who has done this before. You know what the challenges are. You know how to fix them. We are going to make investments into the billions of dollars under your leadership, because we see you are already addressing the systemic problems. 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, particularly with respect to bus and automobile manufacturing in Nigeria, amongst other areas,” the industrialist said.
The president did not wait to respond.
“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.”
After the president assigned the task of concluding the agreement to the two ministers in collaboration with Hinduja Group Executives who were present in the room, the industrialist said: “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 endeavour and God will help you to turn Nigeria’s rich promise into rich reality for all of its citizens”.