AS Nigeria’s representatives and athletes from other nations prepare to battle to win medals for their countries at the London 2012 Olympics which begins in just 13 days, winning medals of any colour may be the least thing on President Goodluck Jonathan’s mind when he comes to London during the games.
Rather than heading to the Olympic Park in East London, the President will lead a powerful Federal Government and private sector team in the opposite direction and head to the Dorchester Hotel, West London, for a high level investment and business summit that will showcase Nigeria’s investment potentials to the world.
Jonathan, who will give the keynote address on the opening morning of the three-day (July 30 to August 1) ‘New World Nigeria’ investment drive organised by the Bank of Industry (BOI) , has been pencilled down alongside the Co-ordinating Minister for Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo –Iweala, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and foremost entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote and several other ministers and state governors to spearhead the parley .
Unlike members of Team Nigeria who will be competing with their counterparts from over 200 countries, Jonathan and his team will have less competition as they try to woo investors to bring their capital to Nigeria after the games.
While Team Nigeria’s contingent to the games is made up of basketballers, sprinters, quarter milers and boxers, etc, Jonathan’s own Team Nigeria will also include the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji , his Agriculture counterpart, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina and Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Trade and Investment. Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun will also be in the president’s sales team.
On the opening day, July 30, Jonathan will speak on ‘New World Nigeria Is Open For Business,’ in his keynote address before Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes to the podium to talk about ‘The Nigerian Economy And The Ease Of Doing Business.’ Later in the day , it will be the turn of the trio of Aganga, Ajimobi and Kola Jamodu, Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to hold a panel discussion with the theme, ‘Transforming Nigeria’s Industrial Sector for Competitiveness.’
Sanusi, Dangote, Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and the governors of Ondo, Dr Segun Mimiko and Kogi’s Captain Idris Wada, will be among those to sell the nation to the investment world on Tuesday. Oyo State’s Ajimobi and others on the team will headline the last day of the conference on Wednesday, August 1.