The Nigerian Government is stepping up in its commitment to reducing the rate of milk importation while encouraging local production in the country.
This comes as the Niger State government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on dairy chain development with Royal FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc on Tuesday in Abuja.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello signed the MoU on behalf of the state government while the Managing Director of the company, Mr Ben Langat, signed for FrieslandCampina WAMCO.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Netherlands Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, witnessed the signing after the bilateral consultations between delegations of both countries at the Presidential Villa in the nation’s capital.
The agreement on dairy chain development is expected to save Nigeria about 1.2 billion dollars from milk importation annually, said a statement from the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
Earlier, President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte – who was at the Villa – met to discuss bilateral relations and agreed that Nigeria and the Netherlands would continue to work together to improve bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting said the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made with implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on deepening the bilateral relations between the two nations concluded and signed by the respective Foreign Ministers in The Hague in July 2018.
The communique signed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Oji Ngofa, and the Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy in Abuja, Ewout-Jan de Wit, said, “We welcome the steps that have been made to increase bilateral economic cooperation and are happy to see higher levels of bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments.
”The contribution of Dutch private businesses, both global players and small, micro and medium enterprises, to the Nigerian economy is duly noted.
“Investments by the Netherlands Investment Bank FMO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund are contributing to better access to finance and energy for the private sector.
“Nigeria confirms its commitment to continuing reforms for a conducive business and investment environment while the Netherlands pledges to continue assisting Nigeria for an increase in agricultural productivity especially horticulture, seed, and sustainable palm oil production.”
President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte also reiterated their commitment to the fight against human trafficking and appreciated the close collaboration between Nigeria and Netherlands in supporting the victims.
The Netherlands PM, who decried the challenging security situation in the West-African sub-region and Nigeria, noted the efforts of Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and in countering violent extremism.
“The Netherlands will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, in particular women and girls, in order to mitigate the impact of insecurity and displacement,” the communique added.
Prime Minister Rutte is on a two-day working visit to Nigeria.
He is leading a trade delegation of eight Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Dutch multinationals currently operating in Nigeria with huge investment portfolios in the agriculture, finance, oil and gas sectors.