Yutaka Kikuta

The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Kikuta Yutaka, has commended the Federal Government for Nigeria’s improvement in the recently released World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI).

Yutaka made the commendation while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair on Friday in Lagos.

Newsmen reports that Nigeria rose 15 places to be ranked 131 from 146 in 2018 in the Ease of Doing Business Index report of the apex bank.

Yutaka said Japan appreciated Nigeria’s democracy which had seamlessly been carried on for the last 20 years.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and the recent establishment of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC)

According to him, such measures as well as the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), are critical to the nation’s economy.

He said: “In tandem with these efforts, as I stated here last year and as the Nigerian leadership acknowledges, foreign investment is essential for the economic development of any country.

Nigeria is not an exception.

“In this regard, I would like to delight with World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Index (DBI) which has upgraded Nigeria’s rank by 15, to 131, as one of this year’s top global improvers.

“Furthermore, it’s up 39 places since 2016, when the Buhari administration established the PEBEC. It indicates that international communities recognise Nigeria’s efforts. ”


Yutaka said the momentum for further economic growth in Nigeria was coming at a time when the Nigerian government was implementing home grown and private sector driven economic measures.

He added that these were predicated on good governance, infrastructure and human capital development as well as business climate reform.

“I am absolutely confident that the Lagos International Trade Fair 2019 will be a distinct showcase of this momentum for growth,” the ambassador said.

He also disclosed that President Buhari had agreed with the Japanese Prime Minister to establish a “Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council” at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) held in Yokohama in August.

The ambassador expressed optimism that the council would produce tangible results for Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

Also, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Azanaw Abraha, said Nigeria was undoubtedly the largest economy and the most populous country in Africa.

Abraha said Ethiopia was delighted to participate in the Lagos International Trade Fair as it would provide an opportunity for the business community from both nations to network and showcase their potentialities.

He said Ethiopia was undergoing unprecedented political and economic reforms , adding that the country’s economy was opening up for international foreign investors.

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