|Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala|
She made the call on Sunday in Johannesburg at the opening of Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC), regional office that the two economies are the strongest in Africa and should complement each other.
She said: “I want to call on Nigeria and South Africa to work together, we hope that Nigerians will be welcomed to invest in South Africa economy, the two economies are the strongest in Africa, we hope the two economies will complement each other, and even have healthy competition when it is necessary.”
She said the diversification of the economy by Bayelsa state government is mirroring what President Goodluck Jonathan is trying to do with Nigeria’s economy.
“It is great for the President to see that this development is coming out of Bayelsa, being an indigene of the state and former governor. What we witnessed here today in terms of the drive to diversify the economy of Bayelsa and make it less dependent on a commodity is a mirror of what the president is trying to do with the Nigeria economy.
“Nigeria economy is strong, we are blessed with a lot of capacity and resources, we have strong micro-economic fundamentals. Nigeria’s economy has been growing at an average of 6.5 per cent rate and is projected by IMF to grow this year at about seven per cent.”
She said Nigeria’s inflation rate is coming down to a single digit. Our currency is steady against the major world currencies, our reserve is strong, so we have a base on which to diversify the Nigerian economy.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, said the establishment of the Bayelsa Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) was to diversify the economy of the state from dependence on oil and gas.
“For us this is not just a step in the right direction, but a dream come true, because the initiative is geared towards tapping the enormous potentialities of the state. BDIC will work towards diversifying the economy of the state away from dependence on oil and gas, boost tourism and investment as well as create unlimited opportunities for our teeming youth and people.
South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize said partnership between African countries is showing the world that the future of global economy is in the continent.
“This type of partnership will guide us to take the right steps and provide the leadership needed to grow the continental economy.
“I am happy that there is relationship between BDIC and South Africa industrial development corporation which is the major player in our process of driving infrastructure development.
“We are happy that the discussion on cooperation in other sector of the economy is on-going between Nigeria and South Africa.
“We are looking at manufacturing seriously and promoting long term investment that will help in training and developing our youth.