1. It is my distinct honor to welcome the members of the Board of Directors and the executives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Center.

2. The creation of the Africa Business Center by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a welcome recognition by the U.S. business community of the significant trade and investment opportunities that exist on the continent of Africa and indeed the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3. Also, it gives me great pleasure to welcome my friend, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Co-Chair of the Africa Business Center to the National Assembly.  

4. In September of 2016, Alhaji Dangote helped shape the Senate’s Economic Legislative Agenda through his participations in a business leader’s roundtable in Lagos.  It should be noted that several of his keen observations and ideas were incorporated into the National Assembly’s Recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari; on growing the economy.

5. The Africa Business Center arrives at the National Assembly at a very important time.  For the past year we have worked in close concert with the House of Representatives and the Presidency to reform the economy for greater efficiency and transparency.

6. One of our primary goals is to increase the private sector’s participation in the economy by reducing government intervention in sectors that traditionally are guided by market forces. This reform will help create more industries needed for job growth and economic stability. To this end, several of the Senate’s priority economic bills are making their way to final passage in both Chambers.

7. In June of this year the National Assembly passed and the President signed into law the Secured Transactions and Moveable Assets Act.  The new law will allow persons to register assets, such as cars or other machinery, as collateral for loans at financial institutions.  

8. On the same day, the National Assembly passed and the President signed the Consumer Credit Agency Act.  Now lenders can view the credit worthiness of borrowers ahead of time before making loan decisions.

9. It is expected that the advent of both laws will boost lending for micro, small and medium sized enterprises and contribute significantly to local economic growth.

10. Last week the House and Senate harmonized the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act. When enacted, the legislation will prevent businesses from creating monopolies and stifling competition.  It also creates a consumer protection commission to safeguard consumers from fraud and price manipulation.

11. The House and Senate are further moving to harmonize the Federal Procurement Act to reform and make more efficient the government’s contracting laws and procedures. This bill emphasizes the completion of processes and includes local content provisions to boost the economy.

12. A key infrastructure reform is the Federal Railway Act. The changes we’ve proposed to make in the law are also aimed at promoting competition in the railway system – in order to make the service more affordable, effective and accessible to every Nigerian. Furthermore, the framework which the Senate has passed places emphasis on the maintenance culture of our rail systems. The Act is also being harmonized with the House of Representatives.

13. These are just some of the key bills that are in play. Over the coming months we will make further progress on the economic reform agenda to spur competition, internationalize key industries and provide greater market certainty for our investment partners.

14. Finally, I wish to thank those of you who have participated in the ICT Working Group.  For Nigeria, the development of our ICT ecosystem and support for Nigeria’s technology innovators is of great importance to our economy.

15. From our work with members of the Business Center, other private sector members and academia, we found it best to amend the Telecommunications Act of 2005 to address collective issues such as privacy, IP protections and broadband access.

16. We continue to welcome your support and input and hope to complete our amendment recommendation very soon.

17. Again, I thank the U.S. Chamber, Africa Business Center for today’s visit and for your commitment to Nigeria and Africa!


Abubakar Bukola Saraki MBBS CON (pronunciationⓘ; born on 19 December 1962) is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th president of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019.[1][2] He previously served as the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011; and was elected to the Senate in 2011, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District, and then re-elected in the 2015 general elections