Nigerian leader goes to France for investors meet

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan left for France on Wednesday for a meeting to attract foreign investment into the oil-rich but corruption-ridden country, his office said.

Jonathan will also have lunch with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy during his three-day visit.

He is leading a high-powered delegation of government officials and top Nigerian businessmen.

The investment meeting is to be held under the aegis of a so-called Honorary International Investor Council (HIIC), an outfit of prominent global and domestic investors that advises the Nigerian government on economic matters.

The council's goals are to influence investment decisions by major companies and countries to Africa's most populous nation.

Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno, Nigeria's northeastern state, where a radical Islamist sect Boko Haram has carried out a myriad of deadly gun and bomb attacks in the past two years, will speak about internal security.

Former managing director of the World Bank and now Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the country's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will also address participants.

Some of the members of the HIIC expected at the meeting are top officials from the French oil giant Total, Anglo-Dutch's Shell, computer firm Hewlett Packard, Japanese car producer Mitsubishi Corporation and leading global financial services group Credit Suisse.

Nigeria is France's largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was in Nigeria earlier this month and vowed to help the country in its war against extremism.

© 2011 AFP

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