Togo’s President, Faure Gnassingbe, is in Lagos for a visit to the Dangote Refinery at the Lekki Trade Zone.
President Gnassingbe on Tuesday arrived the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
The President and his entourage were received by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enalemah, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Alinko Dangote and some members of the business community.
President Gnassingbe’s visit to the refinery is premised on a possible business partnership between Dangote Group and the West African country.
The Togolee President also met with President Muhammadu Buhari. Both presidents met for about an hour in the President’s office.
While President Buhari commended Mr Aliko Dangote for his effort in the building of the refinery, the visiting president said that the refinery would go a long way to promote trade and contribute to reduce import from non-African countries.
Stabilise Niger Delta
President Buhari also promised that the Nigerian government would do all in its powers to stabilise the Niger Delta region to make the pumping of gas to other West African countries easy.
Nigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and some Turkish investors on Wednesday held talks that centred on increasing investments in the solid mineral and agriculture sectors of the Nigerian economy.
At the business meeting in Abuja, the Minister, Mr Okechukwu Enelemah, told Turkish businessmen that the Nigerian government would work towards eliminating obstacles preventing foreign investors from coming to Nigeria.
Organisers of the meeting said that it was meant to strengthen an existing business relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.
In their separate remarks, both the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) urged the Turkish investors to invest in agriculture and the solid minerals sector of the economy.
The President of NACCIMA, Bassey Edem, requested that the existing trade relations between the two countries be balanced, as Turkey currently had comparative advantage over Nigeria.
The Turkish Government, however, promised to build on a record from NACCIMA which revealed that the trade volume between Nigeria and Turkey stood at $2.3 billion in 2014.
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Nigeria on Friday for Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to take part in the Business for Africa, Egypt and the World Forum.
A statement on Thursday by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, said the forum would open in the Egyptian resort town on Saturday, February 18.
It is being organised by the Egyptian government under the auspices of the African Union Commission.
The forum’s objective is to accelerate private sector engagement and investment within Africa and promote the development of African ties and partnerships.
President Buhari, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and the Presidents of Togo, Sudan, Kenya, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, as well as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia are among confirmed speakers at the forum.
Other confirmed speakers include the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote.
President Buhari would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, alongside the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelama.
The President is expected to return to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at the conclusion of the forum.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, has confirmed that Nigeria loses over $3.3 billion every year to import items like roofing sheets, nails, roof tiles head pans, wire gauze that are produced from steel and iron ore minerals.
He added that the money spent on the importation may increase from $3.3 billion to $15 billion in the next decade if necessary measures are not put in place in the nation’s industrial policy.
He further noted that despite Nigeria being the second largest producer of steel and iron ore in Africa, it imports products from steel and iron into the country every year.
Speaking during the pre-commissioning visit to a cold roll mill and steel industry in Ilorin, the Minister said that any country that relies entirely on exporting raw materials without having a strong industrial and related services sector would remain poor.
The Minister, who said that the Industrial Revolution Plan of the present government is the most robust and comprehensive industrial plan Nigeria has ever had, added that the objective of the policy is to diversify the nation’s economy and revenue sources.