Nigeria Targets 80 Billion Dollars Asian Investment In Next Two Years

NigeriaThe Federal Government has announced a target of 80billion dollars investment inflow from Asian countries in the next two years.

Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, who spoke at a meeting with heads of missions of Asian countries in New Delhi, India, said that the drive became necessary following the emergence of Asian countries as leaders in trade relations with Nigeria.

It was a think tank by government officials and ambassadors from 14 Asian countries to make Nigeria a major trade and investment hub.

The Minister said that there was the need to persistently push for the recognition of Nigeria as the preferred investment destination across the globe.

For over six hours, the officials deliberated on how to achieve this set mandate.

One after the other, heads of agencies charged with the mandate of improving investment inflows into the country through oil and non oil exports also took time to explain why the ambassadors should improve investment ties with their countries of assignment.

When the meeting was over, it was resolved that a target of 80billion naira from countries in the Asian region for the next two years is key to employment generation and poverty reduction in the country.

The ambassadors expressed willingness to ensure an upward trend.

Trade volume between Nigeria and countries in the Asian continent currently stands at 40billion dollars with India and China topping the list with over 2.9trillion naira and 2.1trillion naira respectively.

It was the first time in over 50 years that government officials would be deliberating to improve trade ties between Nigeria and Asian countries.

What many Nigerians expect in the days ahead is that resolution reached at the meeting would translate into concrete actions that would turn around the socio-economic development of the country.

Jonathan To Lead Dangote, Otudeko And Others On Economic Mission

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria will on Monday lead a team of key members of Nigeria’s Economic Management Team to the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Reuben Abati in a press release described the trip as part of the president’s efforts to promote rapid national economic growth and development; as well as an opportunity to assemble with global leaders to brainstorm on new strategies for accelerating economic diversification and the availability of essential infrastructure in Africa.

“President Jonathan is scheduled to leave Abuja for Cape Town tomorrow and will, at the invitation of President Jacob Zuma, undertake a state visit to South Africa ahead of the opening of the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.” Abati said.

The Forum themed “Delivering on Africa’s Promise” is expected to provide a platform for African leaders in government, business and civil society and their counterparts from other regions of the world to discuss further on the continent’s integration agenda and “renew their commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development that will further unlock Africa’s potentials and talents.”

The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Governors of Zamfara, Anambra and Bayelsa states, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Honourable Abubakar Momoh, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Jim Ovia, Chief Oba Otudeko and Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Several ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada will also be on the presidential delegation.

The President will also participate in the Grow Africa Investment Forum and thereafter honour an invitation by his South African counterpart, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma to discuss ways of improving trade and economic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.

During the visit, he will also deliver an address to the South African Parliament, co-chair a meeting of the South Africa/Nigeria Business Forum with President Zuma and hold separate meetings with the Chairmen of the Management Boards of MTN, Toyota and Nissan in South Africa.

At the conclusion of his visit to South Africa on Thursday, President Jonathan will proceed to Namibia for a one-day state visit to hold talks with President Hifikepunye Pohamba and attend a meeting with the country’s business community.

President Jonathan is expected to return to Nigeria on Friday, May 10.

Jonathan Goes For ECOWAS Summit, State Visit To Cote D’Ivoire

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Wednesday join other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Yamassoukrou, Cote D’Ivoire, for the 42nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

Ongoing efforts to restore peace, democracy and political stability to Mali and Guinea-Bissau in which President Jonathan and Nigeria are playing key roles, will be top on the agenda of the two-day summit, just as a new ECOWAS Chairperson is expected to be elected at the meeting.

President Jonathan and other participating Heads of State and Government will also receive and consider the 2012 annual report of the President of the ECOWAS Commission as well as the report of the 69th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.

At the conclusion of the Summit on Thursday, President Jonathan will embark on a three-day state visit to Cote D’Ivoire, accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, some governors, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed and other government officials.

It is expected that various agreements aimed at fostering trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire will be concluded and signed in Abidjan before the end of the visit.

President Jonathan, whose entourage also includes representatives of the Nigerian Private Sector, will also meet with Nigerians resident in Cote D’Ivoire before returning to Nigeria on Saturday.

Canadian envoy express confidence in Nigeria’s economy

The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter, has stated that Canada is currently working on strategies aimed at increasing its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Nigeria within the next few years due to enhanced confidence in the Nigerian economy.

Cooter disclosed this during a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja.

The Canadian envoy noted that as part of efforts to strengthen trade and investment relationship between the two countries, more Canadian companies had already indicated their willingness to invest in infrastructural projects across Nigeria.

He explained that the move was a follow-up to the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission meeting held between the Minister of Trade and Investment; Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja recently.

“Two weeks ago, the Nigeria –Canada Bi-National Commission met in Abuja and the centerpiece of that Bi-National Commission was how to build and strengthen economic relationships between Nigeria and Canada. This is one of the reasons we have brought the Senior Executives of SNC Lavalin, one of the leading engineering and Construction Company in Canada, and as top five in the world” he said.

“They have been in Nigeria before, in fact, they were here about 25 years ago. That time, they thought that this was not the best place to invest but today, there is a wind of change going on in Nigeria’s investment landscape which is being driven by the Minister of Trade and Investment. Therefore, we are looking at areas where Canadian companies can invest in Nigeria and how they can form partnerships in Nigeria in line with the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission” he added.

Present at the meeting were Senior Executives of SNC Lavalin, Canada’s biggest engineering and Construction Company, led by the company’s Executive Vice-President, Mr. Michael Novak, and Senior Vice-President, Product and Market Growth, Dr. Mark Hall.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr Aganga said that the Federal Government would partner genuine investors who are willing to invest in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy such an infrastructure, mining, petrochemical and agri-business in order to create jobs for the Nigerian people.

“We have a big infrastructure deficit in Nigeria and that is why the Federal Government is very concerned to bridge the gap by developing the critical infrastructure required to drive our industrial development, especially in those areas where we have comparative and competitive advantage such as mining, petrochemical, agri-business and even the Small and Medium Enterprises sector” he said.

The Minister also added that the government is ready to “work with foreign investors who are interested in investing in infrastructure projects. For those who are interested in Public Private Partnership in the area of infrastructure development, we will link them up with key government agencies such the Infrastructure Concession and Regulation Commission and other ministries or agencies for the necessary action.”

Also speaking during the meeting, the Executive Vice President, SNC Lavalin, Mr. Michael Novak, said the company would explore the Public Private Partnership option to invest in key infrastructural projects in Nigeria.

Korea-Nigeria sign agreement on industrial cooperation

Nigeria and South Korea have agreed on an industrial cooperation strategy to promote the development of petrochemical and automotive industries and other major sectors in both countries.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and his Korean counterpart, Hong Suk-Woo.

Both countries made the commitment at the Korea-Africa industry cooperation forum in Seoul.

According to details of the agreement, Korea will provide all the necessary support to major Korean companies, who want to partner Nigeria on the development of the petrochemical and automotive sectors.

The two ministers also set in motion, plans to create the Korea-Nigeria trade and investment council in order to strengthen their new partnership and to learn from one another.