Femi Okutubo, Editor-in-Chief of THE TRUMPET, the leading Nigerian diaspora newspaper in the UK has responded to Priti Patel, former secretary of state for International Development in the United Kingdom(UK).
Earlier this week in an op-ed for City A.M., Patel had called on investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.
According to Femi in a letter to the ex Secretary of UK, he said “As a Nigerian living in the UK, who has experienced first-hand the contrast between the Buhari administration and those of his predecessors, I read with great interest Priti Patel’s article about investment in Nigeria. Frankly, I cannot help but question whether she has taken the time to examine the facts behind the allegations she puts her name to.
Patel states that the risk of investing in Nigeria is exemplified by its 145th ranking in the world for ease of doing business. She does not,however, appear to have seen the rest of this World Bank report, which ranks Nigeria as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world After moving up 24 places in the last year.
She also criticises President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight. While most Nigerians have become accustomed to the brickbats and smears that are sadly a feature of Nigeria’s lively political debate, it is undeniable that action, finally,Is being taken to end the toxic culture of impunity.
In May, the independent Economic and Financial Crimes Commission announced 603 corruption convictions since Buhari’s inauguration in 2015 – roughly double the convictions under President Jonathan and the recovery of some 500bn naira (£1bn) in stolen public funds. For the first time, these efforts are being extended to the “Untouchables” at the top of Nigerian society – corrupt judges, top military officers, and senior government officials.
There is no doubt that more needs to be done. Change and progress do not happen overnight, but attacking Nigeria’s investment climate on the basis of one court case is inaccurate and unfair. Perhaps if she has time during her next holidays in the region,Patel could meet with some of the many entrepreneurs, innovators and investors who have seen their businesses flourish in Africa’s largest economy.