President Bola Tinubu has listed foreign interference, poor governance and broken promises as some of the factors that have negatively affected the African continent.
The Nigerian leader stated this on Tuesday while delivering his inaugural speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
President Tinubu added that unfair treatment and outright foreign exploitation had stunted the continent’s progress and hindered a fair distribution of wealth in Africa.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government asked foreign countries to abide by the Summit’s theme for a mutually beneficial relationship with Africa.
He said: “This is my first address before the General Assembly. Permit me to say a few words on behalf of Nigeria, on behalf of Africa, regarding this year’s theme.
“Many proclamations have been made, yet our troubles remain close at hand. Failures in good governance have hindered Africa. But broken promises, unfair treatment and outright exploitation from abroad have also exacted a heavy toll on our ability to progress.
“Due to both longstanding internal and external factors, Nigeria’s and Africa’s economic structures have been skewed to impede development, industrial expansion, job creation, and the equitable distribution of wealth.
“If Nigeria is to fulfil its duty to its people and the rest of Africa, we must create jobs and the belief in a better future for our people. We must also lead by example.”
Speaking further. Tinubu said as part of efforts to promote economic growth and investor trust in Nigeria, he had to remove the “costly and corrupt fuel subsidy” and discard a “noxious exchange rate system” in his first days in office.
The president asked investors to take advantage of the country’s economic prospects and engage in partnerships that would be beneficial to both parties.
He said: “We welcome partnerships with those who do not mind seeing Nigeria and Africa assume larger roles in the global community.
“The question is not whether Nigeria is open for business. The question is how much of the world is truly open to doing business with Nigeria and Africa in an equal, mutually beneficial manner.”
Tinubu asked foreign countries, organisations, and business persons to make direct investments in critical industries, saying they are part of the important aspects of the cooperation his government seek.
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