Olusegun Aganga, Trade and Investment Minister
Nigeria will next month advance its N6.7 billion trade with Canada as the Vice President, Arc. Muhammad Namadi Sambo heads a federal government delegation to Ontario to cement economic ties in the areas of mining, agriculture, health, education entertainment and other crucial areas between both countries.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, told State House correspondents yesterday after a meeting with the vice president that Nigeria was on the verge of boosting its already strong economic relationship with Canada.
The minister said previously, the trade volume was determined largely by crude oil export, raw materials and jobs exportation, adding that “there is going to be a shift now. We want to do better trade and stay at a favorable position in the value chain."
Nigeria is one of Canada’s largest trading partners in Africa. In 2011, alone the value of merchandise trade with Canada stood at $2.7billion, consisting of $2.5billion in Nigeria’s exports to Canada and $199 million import. Similarly, a huge chunk of the country’s export to Canada, revolves around oil and gas.
Next month’s meeting of the Nigerian delegation with its Canadian counterpart is a follow-up on a similar one held in Nigeria in January where Aganga, and the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Mr. Ed Fast, co-chaired the Nigeria-Canada Bi-National Commission met in Abuja.
According to Aganga, the Canada investment forum is billed to discuss and economic strengthen ties.
He pointed out that the federal government is also putting measures to reduce export of raw materials while focusing efforts on the export of finished goods in order to put the country in a favourable position in the value chain.
"There are three things happening between Nigeria and Canada. One is the bi-national commission between the two countries, which is going to hold and which is going to be chaired at the vice president level with the ministers who will look at it and implement it. The second big thing happening between Nigeria and Canada is the investment forum which is going to take place between 2nd and 4th of May, 2013. The preparation and the business relationship between the two countries are going on extremely well.
“We have had a lot interests from the Canadian government and private sector. We have also had about 60 to 70 Nigerian companies who have shown interest in the forum. We have a number of state governments which are willing to participate. So, everything is moving on in the right direction,” he explained.