Brussels, 26 October 2011: ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas has urged Nigerian parliamentarians to sustain political and financial reforms with the aim of boosting the economy.

The visiting delegation, including Speakers of the Plateau and Cross River State Houses of Assemblies as well as members of the Federal House of Representatives, were received earlier this month in Brussels by the Secretary General, his Head of Cabinet Dr Obadiah Mailafia and Assistant Secretary General and Head of Political Affairs and Human Development Michèle Dominique Raymond.

Applauding the country’s relatively peaceful elections in April and successful transition of governments, Dr Chambas stressed that strong democratic processes send a “good signal” to the private sector, creating a more attractive environment for investors and businesses:

“Political reforms are the way towards a rebirth of a constitutional democratic movement. It has created a certain stability in politics and government which is healthy for the economy. We should be defenders of this new trend and do everything to improve it.”

The Secretary General added that for any fledgling democracy, a “learning process” is expected. While internal challenges to peace and security remain, the outlook “should be one of improvement.”

Noting the reforms also made in the financial sector, he went on to commend Nigeria for a 7% growth in the economy despite global challenges in trade and energy.

“Africa is recovering stronger from the global financial crisis than any other region except Asia, and Nigeria has the potential to take it up another notch to 8 to 10 % growth annually. With a country growing at this rate for about ten years, Nigeria could be one of the BRICs by 2025 – it could be amongst the top 25 economies of the world,” said Dr Chambas.

However, he warned that this is only achievable if the reforms are sustained and deepened.

Amongst other issues discussed during the meeting, Dr Chambas also urged the parliamentarians to find a way to “unlock” the energy sector and have the country fuel its own power and industrial needs, as a way to further accelerate development.

The visit was organized by Germany’s Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation, with Resident Representative to Nigeria Dr Klaus Pähler accompanying the delegation.