West and North Africa
President Goodluck Jonathan Sick in London – Fails to Meet Investors
London — President Goodluck Jonathan, took ill in London, United Kingdom where he was billed to chair a meeting of the Honorary International Investors Council on Nigeria. This forced his absence at the opening session of the council which held at the London Hilton Hotel in the Park Lane area of the city.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati who is also in London with the president, however, dispelled any fears as he said in a statement, yesterday, that the president's sickness was nothing serious, adding that the decision to seek medical advice was only 'precautionary.'
The meeting which drew prospective investors from Europe and other countries went ahead as Co-ordinator of the Council, Baroness Lynda Chalker presided over yesterday's session.
Abati, while announcing the President's indisposition in a statement yesterday said: "In the course of his on-going visit to London for a meeting of Nigeria's Honorary International Investors' Council, President Goodluck Jonathan became indisposed and could not be present at the opening of the meeting today.
"President Jonathan has since been examined by competent medical practitioners. He has been advised to rest for a few days.
"The Presidency wishes to assure all Nigerians that President Jonathan's condition is nothing serious and that the medical attention he has sought is only precautionary."
President Jonathan arrived London Wednesday morning for the conference and was received by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida and other officials.
The HIIC holds twice a year; once in Nigeria and once in any other country and is coordinated by Baroness Lynda Chalker, a former British lawmaker who later was minister of state for overseas development and Africa.
Yesterday's council meeting provided an opportunity for Nigerian ministers to brief investors on steps so far taken to improve the investment climate in the country, and also to enable investors in Nigeria assure their counterparts in other parts of the world of the investment climate in Nigeria.
At yesterday's meeting which had in attendance prominent Nigerian businessmen like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia as well as other prospective investors from Europe, ministers briefed prospective investors on what steps Nigeria was taking to make the investment climate more friendly.
The executive secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Mustafa Bello briefed members of the council the last council meeting held in Abuja while the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Professor Sylvester Monye presented a full-year monitoring report on the implementation of the HIIC recommendations presented to government at previous meetings.
On the programme for yesterday's session, Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi were expected to brief the council on the Third Quarter Macro-Economic Performance and Outlook for 2014. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga whose ministry is coordinating the meeting was expected to speak on Nigeria's investment landscape in the last six months while focusing on major investment commitments in the country, investment promotion, new initiatives and policies introduced as well as efforts to improve investment climate.
Yesterday's meeting was attended by the ministers of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, Special Duties, Tanimu Kabiru, supervising Minister for Defence and Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo as well as Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Others in attendance were foremost Nigerian businessmen, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia and members of the National Assembly.