Northern Ireland

Bertie Ahern advises Nigeria on business

Bertie Ahern
Image caption Bertie Ahern with OGB editorial manager Tyler Cicirello

The former Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, has been advising Nigeria on business and economic development.

The advice is published in a report by consultancy firm Oxford Business Group.

Mr Ahern said: "Consistent and transparent policies could boost its efforts to attract foreign investment".

The former taoiseach said sound policies provided the building blocks for Ireland's economic transformation. In November Ireland accepted a £85bn EU/IMF bailout.

The full interview with Mr Ahern appears in The Report: Nigeria 2011, OBG's guide on the country's economic activity and investment opportunities.

In it he describes how during the 1990s, robust policies helped Ireland to successfully tap into high value foreign direct investment (FDI) and build GDP.

"We had to ensure that infrastructure was in place for companies to expand, complemented by sensible investment policies," Mr Ahern said.

In the report, the former Fianna Fail leader also warned of the problems currently facing the Irish economy.

"As can be seen from the current precarious state of Ireland's financial sector, the importance of economic diversity is huge," Mr Ahern said.

"Overexposure to any sector should not be taken lightly, as was seen when construction in Ireland accounted for over 15% of GDP at the height of the boom."

Mr Ahern said he believes public-private partnerships (PPPs) could play a key role in Nigeria's economic expansion, particularly with the country's plans to drive forward a number of major infrastructural projects.

The former Fianna Fail leader has visited Nigeria on a number of occasions since his retirement as taoiseach in 2008.