(as prepared for delivery)
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, members of the press. Please allow me to stand on existing protocols.
If I had to pick two iconic foods to represent the United States, pizza and ice cream would top the list. By bringing these two favorite treats together, Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery have developed a global brand for service and quality that they now share with us here in Abuja. It is my pleasure and honor to be here with you this morning to celebrate the grand opening of the Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery. This grand opening of two of America’s most recognizable franchises in partnership with Eat N’ Go offers a perfect example of how Nigerian entrepreneurs can work with international partners to bring the best products and services to Nigeria.
Nigeria’s economy, its entrepreneurial spirit and tremendous development potential, lead to great opportunities for both U.S. and Nigerian businesses. As President Obama said during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi in July, “Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and new businesses, new ways to deliver basic services, and new ways of seeing the world.” Opening this Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery in Abuja not only brings a taste of America to Abuja, but deepens the economic and cultural ties between our two countries, generating jobs for Nigerians, expanding opportunities for Nigerian suppliers, and giving Abuja residents and visitors a high quality food and service experience.
This opening is the kind of opportunity we would like to see in Nigeria repeated many times over. Successful partnerships bring about the best in commercial relations between Nigerians and Americans, between businesses and consumers, and send a signal to others that Nigeria’s growing market for American products and services is a good place to be. We think there is great potential for more of business partnerships between the United States and Nigeria, and we all hope to see them in the near future.
I would like to congratulate Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Eat N’ Go on the productive partnership they have developed here in Nigeria. I am delighted to know that there are already thirteen Domino’s and Cold Stone stores in the Lagos, Ibadan, and Enugu areas, and that the opening in Abuja marks the fourteenth and largest facility.
The Domino’s/Cold Stone story epitomizes how best to address the challenges that foreign partners can encounter in Nigeria, while creating a positive business climate that is open for trade and investment. As we know how good food brings people together, the opening of Domino’s and Cold Stone has allowed different countries and different nationalities to share two common things we all enjoy—good pizza and amazing ice cream. Like me, I am sure many of you will be repeat customers. When it comes to pizza and ice cream: “Get the door, it’s Domino’s” and remember that “the world deserves better ice cream.”