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CEOs Of Multinationals Seek Meeting With Buhari In New York, Eye Investment Deals

Despite Nigeria’s deepening economic crisis, numbers chief executives of major global corporations sought private meetings in New York with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in the United States to take part in the United Nations General Assembly summit.

The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who requested meetings with President Buhari included heads of Motorola, MasterCard, Visa, Proctor and Gamble, and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). A majority of the corporate executives represent energy firms, reflecting an area of Nigeria’s critical need.

A senior official traveling with the Nigerian leader told our correspondent that the meetings between Mr. Buhari and corporate executives indicated the corporate leaders’ “great confidence in Nigeria’s economic recovery as well as the country’s long-term investment prospects.”  

The CEOs of financial services firms, Charles Scharf of Visa, and Ajay Banga of MasterCard, were among those scheduled to see Mr. Buhari in New York City. MasterCard’s Daniel Monehin, president of the firm’s division of sub-Saharan Africa, was expected to join Mr. Banga at the meeting with the Nigerian leader. Our source said the MasterCard executives wanted to talk to President Buhari about the possible uses of public-private partnerships “to advance global financial inclusion efforts.”

Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola, was named as one of the corporate leaders who sought a meeting with the Nigerian president. According to our source, another executive, Andrew Alli of Africa Finance Corporation, asked for a meeting to enable him to introduce his organization’s infrastructure financing services.

Our correspondent learned that Mohamed Samir, President, India, Middle East and Africa of Proctor & Gamble, also requested a meeting with the Nigerian leader. The firm, which is the largest non-oil US investor in Nigeria, is reportedly committed to investing in Nigeria and wanted to discuss the government’s support for its expansion plans.

John Campion, the CEO of energy firm APR ENERGY, wanted to talk to President Buhari about prospects for a 275 megawatt fast track power project signed in 2015 with Sapele Power Plc., a private power provider in Nigeria. Ms. Jasandra Nyker, a CEO of another energy firm, BIOTHERM, also asked for a meeting to discuss the development of renewable energy capacity in Nigeria. Ms. Kusum Kavia, President of COMBUSTION ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL, was also interested in briefing Mr. Buhari about the firm’s current power projects in Nigeria, and to explore additional services in the power sector.

Other corporate leaders likely to meet with the Nigerian leader are those from oil giant ExxonMobil.