President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday charged Speakers of the African Parliamentary Union, on the need to pass legislations that will promote Ease of Doing Business and private sector growth in the continent
The President gave the charge while speaking at the 73rd Session of the Executive Committee and the 41st Conference of Speakers of the African Parliamentary Union, in Abuja.
The President who noted that the dynamics of global trade are changing fast, said Foreign Direct Investment is a key index of economic performance.
Called on the Conference of Speakers to consider the promotion of private investment, the global economic superpowers redesign and restructure the global economy, adding that “ Africa cannot afford to be caught off guard, as we have to navigate these uncertain economic times with realistic plans in which the private sector is key.”
“Barriers that restrict ease of doing business and private sector growth must be addressed by legislation and it is hoped that your resolutions will aid the efforts of African governments in developing a more robust private sector to attract necessary investments in our economy “
Buhari while also speaking on the challenges of insecurity in Africa, applauded actions of African governments in dealing with the issue.
“ it is my strong belief that the APU will develop strategies to assist governments in confronting this menace and, as Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
“I will be more than willing to fast track your resolutions for deliberation and adoption at the ECOWAS sub-region and the much larger African Union.
He cited the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in China, were many trade and cooperation agreements running into hundreds of billions of dollars were signed between China and individual African countries, saying that these efforts will further promote investments flow to the continent.
The Conference of Speakers, will be considering the role of parliaments in the fight against terrorism, armed gangs and organized crimes in Africa.
These issues will include efforts in the continent to tackle terrorism, armed banditry and organized crimes, amongst others.
Buhari also noted that proliferation of arms aided by abuse of the ease of movement of persons across freer borders, which have been historically in place to encourage African unity, have contributed to acts of terrorism by groups like Al Shaabab, ISIS and Boko Haram.
“I am also delighted that the promotion of girls’ education as a way to address early marriages will be the focus of the APU Committee of women parliamentarians. This is another subject that requires close attention and I assure you of the support and cooperation of the government of Nigeria.
“A few months back, four girls from a high school in Anambra State, in South East of Nigeria, won the first prize for innovation at an international competition held in the United States of America. The success of these girls, some as young as 14, is a success for Africa as a whole, but more importantly, it is a demonstration of what can happen when the girl child is given the opportunity. Education should not be seen as a government programme only, but as a human right and a social imperative.
“Educating girls increases the probability of having more women innovators, entrepreneurs and Chief Executive Officers. Once again, I assure the APU of the desire of the government of Nigeria and others to consider your input on this subject with a view to improving the condition of the African girl-child.
“A conscious and affirmative resolve needs to be made by parliaments and governments across Africa to champion the cause of the Continent and its people. I am convinced that you possess the required commitment to achieve this goal.”
Tony Ailemen, Abuja