By Gabriel Olawale
Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E James Christoff has said that Nigeria’s economic diversification policy aligned with Canada’s export capability.
He remarked on this at the LGC 2022 Canada-Nigeria Business & Investment Summit in Toronto, where he noted that the nation’s leadership and influence are crucial to achieving and maintaining peace and stability in Africa.
According to Christoff, Nigeria became Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa last year with $2.67 billion in bilateral business trade.
He disclosed that Nigeria’s economic diversification policy aligned with Canada’s export capability in agriculture, ICT, education, clean technology and mining among others, which present opportunities for future growth.
“People that know me can attest to my commitment towards the Canada and Nigeria relationship with a focus on what I consider as a tremendous opportunity for growth in terms of our trade potential,” says the high commissioner.
He assured the press that the Canadian government is working with Nigeria on a friendly trade policy to enhance market access in creating an enabling environment for businesses to flourish.
Christoff added: “We recently finalized negotiations on a new transport agreement and this will make travelling between the two countries a lot easier and at the same time solidify people-to-people ties, which will be a game changer.”
While speaking with potential investors, the high commissioner noted that Nigeria has the largest young entrepreneur population and untapped opportunities for companies.
“Nigeria possesses people with an amazing intellect and drive. It is important that leading companies be exposed to that in trying to expand their investment,” he emphasised.
Christoff, however, assured potential investors that the commission has established a foreign investment protection agreement that will help to increase the flow of investment into Nigeria.
He appreciated the organizers of the summit for bringing together decision-makers from public and private sectors from both countries on how to move forward beneficially.
On his part, the President of Leadership and Governance Canada, Mr Sam Adewale said that the two-day conference with the theme ‘Trade and investment opportunities Africa’s biggest economy’ featured eight critical sectors of the economy.
The key sectors highlighted at the event are Agriculture/Agro-Allied value chain, food and cash-crop processing, preservation, and packaging; Solid Minerals/Extractive Innovation extractive and modern technology; Health Care primary healthcare, ambulance, medical laboratories, trauma centres, and nursing homes.
Power & Alternative Energy solar, wind, turbine, and geothermal energy; Infrastructure Real Estate, Road Development, & Transportation; Technology & ICT phones, computers, software, and digital economy; Oil & Gas sludge management and environmental cleaning; and Aviation infrastructure and security.
He hinted that the summit provides a platform to constructively and progressively drive trade and investment with concrete deliverables; seek and connect investment opportunities in Nigeria by Canadian investors; develop and strengthen trade and economic ties between Canada and Nigeria that would unlock several trades and investment opportunities.
“This event also offers Nigerian and Canadian governments, private investors, and business leaders the platform for a mutually beneficial discussion; and discusses ways to create conditions for more Canadian investments in Nigeria, particularly in manufacturing and services,” Adewale said