President Muhammadu Buhari has said the 2016 National Budget being prepared by his administration will include fresh policies and measures for the rapid diversification of the economy from its current over-dependence on the Oil and Gas sector.

The President spoke yesterday in Abuja when he hosted the President of the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF), Mr. Pierre Gattaz and a delegation of French investors at the Presidential Villa.

He said the policies being evolved by his administration to boost domestic manufacturing and attract greater investment to Nigeria’s agricultural and mining sectors would be fully realised in the 2016 budget.

President Buhari urged  Gattaz and the French trade mission, which included over 50 companies with interest in manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure development and other areas, to return to Nigeria next year to reap the advantage of the new policies.
The President, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also assured the French investors  that under his leadership, Nigeria would not fall short of international standards in the protection of foreign investments and the repatriation of returns on such investments.

He said security and the inflow of foreign investment were intrinsically linked.

President Buhari told the French investors, whose visit to Nigeria  was a follow-up to his recent trip to Paris, that the Federal Government was taking necessary measures to overcome the nation’s security challenges.

He said: “Our government came into office at a time when many people had abandoned the country’s manufacturing, agricultural and mining sectors.

“We are doing  our utmost best to encourage diversification into these sectors which can employ a lot of people and we will welcome your support in this regard.

[quote_center]“Ultimately, reducing unemployment will also help to improve security because unemployment and insecurity are inseparable.”[/quote_center]

The President pledged that Nigeria would also welcome more French investments in its Power sector because availability of steady power supply would lead to the reopening of closed factories and the creation of more jobs.

He also assured the delegation that his administration was tackling corruption with renewed vigour to ensure greater probity in the management of national resources.

The MEDEF President, who spoke on behalf of the French investors, sought assurances from President Buhari  on the safety of their planned investments in Nigeria and the easing of bureaucratic bottlenecks.

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