Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter
The Canadian Government has disclosed that they are close to signing an agreement with the Nigerian Government on the formulation of new rules to govern bilateral investments and also for the resolution of investment disputes.
Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Chris Cooter, disclosed this in Lagos during the visit of the Canadian Minister for International Trade, Edward Fast to the International Learning Centre. He said that Canada also plans to more than double its $2.7 billion trade volume with Nigeria.
“One of the things we have discussed with the government of Nigeria in terms of improved trade and investment facilitation between both countries include the opportunity to negotiate and put in place a bilateral investment agreement policy with clear sets of rules on how investment and trade will take place,” he said.
According to Cooter, the agreement will guide how Canadians invest in Nigeria and how investment disputes would be resolved.
“That would send a huge signal to Canadian businesses to look to Nigeria for investment opportunities. When companies invest abroad, they also invest in the communities in which they do business so we want it to be clearly a two-way street,” he said.
He disclosed that from next month the turn-around time for issuing Canadian visas to Nigerians for trade or people to people relationships will be reduced to ten days.
He noted that Canada would continue to foster trade and investment relations with Nigeria in the areas where there have competitive advantage in order to double its current $2.7 billion trade volume.
‘The areas where we see opportunities are infrastructure, trade solutions and education where Canada is a world leader and has one of the best systems in the world,” he said.
He commended the Executive Director of ILN for providing a platform that fosters relationship between Canada and Nigeria and the parents and students for also choosing to study in Canada.
In her remark the Executive director of ILN, Mrs. Abiola Anyakwu, said that the centre’s course materials are delivered in an on-line format with face-to-face learner support services offered in the centre’s structured learning environment.
“The International learning Network in collaboration with its partner institutions in Ontario and Alberta is pleased to introduce this software to Nigeria to help students plan for their future though a unique and cost-effective model,” she enthused.
Canadian Minister for International Trade, Edward Fast, noted that ILN has provided students and their parents with the opportunity to acquire Canadian education, which, he stressed, was perhaps the best in the world.
“ILN has opened up services that would promote the relationship between Nigeria and Canada making use of the Canadian education system which has been consistently at the top of ratings,” he said.
In his remark, Senator Don Meredith of the Canadian Senate, the fourth African and first Jamaican to be elected into the Canadian Senate, encouraged the students to take advantage of available scholarship opportunities to study in Canada.
“When you educate young people they are empowered to face the future. We will continue to ensure that strong ties in the areas of business and education thrive between both countries by recruiting, training and sending back these students to develop entrepreneurial opportunities which abound here in Nigeria,” he said.
The Canadian delegation received a monopoly game of the City of Lagos from Mrs. Abiola Anyakwo and also presented her with a stylised gold maple leaf representing Canada’s flag symbol as an expression of their sincerity towards a mutual relationship.