The government of The Gambia, one of Nigeria’s English speaking West African neighbours, has told visiting Nigerian investors that the country is free, good and open to business.
The country assured the investors of a number of incentives including free tax and VAT operations, unfettered access to land and 100 percent profit repatriation.
Isatou Touray, the vice president of the country, at a dinner to receive the Nigerian investors in Banjul, the Gambian capital, on Saturday, noted that in rebuilding the country after 22 years of dictatorship, they needed private capital to be injected into their economy.
Touray said the country looked up particularly to Nigeria as big brother in Africa and it’s investors to help in their economic block building efforts by investing in the country.
The vice president who represented the president, Adama Borro, whose election in January 2016 ended the many years of dictatorship in the country, pointed out that the country needed investment in critical sectors of its economy including agriculture, tourism, real estate, manufacturing, energy etc.
Earlier, Seedy Bittaye, an official of the the Gambian Import and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) had explained in an interview that the country needed investors
In order to jumpstart their economy and also to reduce their exposure to imported items including foodstuff which, in some cases, according to him, was as high as 90 percent.
Bittaye, whose agency overseas import and export activities and investment inflow into the country, noted that the country needed investors most in agriculture in order to tap into the opportunities the vast arable land in the country offered and create jobs.
He disclosed that efforts were being made to reform land tenure system in the country not only to put an end to land grabbing which was the case in the past but also to make access a lot easier for investors. The destination, he said, was to attain land free-hold system as against the lease hold system for investors at the moment.
In his opening remarks, Mustapha Njie, the managing director of Taf Africa Global, who was the chief host, explained that Gambia needed all the investment that it could get at the moment given its harrowing experience under a dictatorship that held down development in the country.
Taf Africa Global is a Pan African and global real estate investment and development firm with strong footprints in many African countries including Nigeria where, in Port Harcourt, it developed the 750-unit high end RivTaf Golf Estate with plans to do more in other parts of the country.
Taf Africa Global is also the developer of the 650-unit Brufut Garden in The Gambia; the 80-hectare Dalaba Estate where over 300 low cost housing units are being delivered to the locals in The Gambia.
In partnership with the government, Taf Africa Global is also developing the 160-hectare mixed use GIETAF project in the country’s economic zone.
Njie explained that the ambitious 10-year project offered limitless opportunities to Nigerian investors who, he said, were needed in the country to help both the economy and the people by investing and creating jobs for the locals.
“Nigeria is the big brother in Africa whose population is 50 percent of the entire West Africa. We need you here because there is a new government in place which supports development and private capital inflow into the country. I have invested in Nigeria and I believe it is pay-back time by Nigerian investors,” said Njie in a passionate appeal to the investors.
The Nigerian investors who were in Gambia on trade mission cut across diverse sectors of the economy, but predominantly from real estate.
The leader of the delegation, Gbenga Olaniyan, CEO, Estate Links, assured his compatriots of opportunities The Gambian economy offered, disclosing that his fulfilling exposure to the country and its economy dates back to 2008.
Source: By Chuka Uroko