US: Commercial Dialogue with Nigeria will Deepen Investment

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The United States Representative of Commerce and International Trade Administration, Mr. Seward Jones, has declared that the ongoing Commercial Investment Dialogue (CID) between Nigeria and his country will bolster investment and trade relations between both countries.

Seward spoke in Abuja during a meeting between the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), representatives of the US and some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under the CID platform.

He stated that deepening and strengthening investment trade relations between both countries could be achieved by leveraging the experience and underground prospectors of the business communities of both countries.

He said: “Perhaps it will help on impediments or obstacles that may stand in the way of the business community in taking advantage of this opportunity.

“Once we have identified those opportunities, we will work together with private sector and government to explore ways to overcome the obstacles so that we may take advantage of the opportunities.’’

Seward explained that both countries had agreed to initially look at the three functional areas of infrastructure, agriculture and digital economy and two cross-cutting functional areas of investment and regulatory reforms.
He however called on representatives of the various related MDAs to explore on the needs of the key issues to ensure success of the partnership.

In her remarks, the Executive Secretary, NIPC, Ms Yewande Sadiku, called for the input of stakeholders in government to drive the Commercial Investment Dialogue partnership between Nigeria and the US.

Sadiku, who was represented by the Director, Investor Relations Department of NIPC, Mr Bala Bello, said a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had already being signed by the Nigerian and the US governments.

“The CID is an important strategic product consummated between the Nigerian government and United States of America (USA).

“The whole idea of the CID is basically to promote sustained economic engagement between the two countries, to identify key issues like private sectors that improve bilateral investment.

“The MoU for the CID have been signed, the first inaugural meeting has taken place between the NIPC Executive Secretary and Mr Seward Jones, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Commerce of the US.
“The aim of this meeting basically is to solicit the input of stakeholders in government on how to move forward on the key identified issues,’’ she said.

Sadiku said the essence of the CID was to bring private sectors from both ends together to continue to proffer solutions to issues that affect investments,”she said.

This, according to her, would ensure investors are able to do business in the country with more ease for the prosperity of both countries.

She said the programme was unique as a secretariat would be set that would monitor, evaluate and see progress made by both countries for the benefit of both countries.

She added that this was in line with the focus of the Nigerian government for the economy.
On the inclusion of the private sector, she explained that the main objective of the meeting was to bolster private sector participation.