Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Embassy of Nigeria in Japan has disclosed that Japan is the fifth foreign investor in Nigeria, saying there are steady improvements in trade and economic relations between the two countries before the outbreak of COVID-19.
In a statement by the Charge de’ Affairs, Dr. Tope Elias-Fatile on Friday, the embassy disclosed that the number of Japanese companies in Nigeria had increased from 32 in 2017 to 43 in 2020.
Citing the figure of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), the embassy said Japan “is fifth foreign investor in Nigeria; also among the top 10 investors in services in Nigeria; among the top 10 investors in solid minerals, fifth investor in oil refining and fifth investor in real estate.”
The statement said that Japan “is among Nigeria’s top 20 import partners and Nigeria’s top 20 export partners.”
The statement said both countries had commenced preparations for the ninth Session of the Nigeria-Japan Special Partnership Forum (NJSPF) scheduled for June in Tokyo; but it was postponed.
It said the NJSPF “is a framework for regular consultations on matters of mutual interest between the two countries. The forum was upgraded to the level of bi-national cooperation at the 6th Session held on August 22 and 23, 2013 in Abuja.
“Despite current challenges, we still have good news and reasons to celebrate. After the successes of the events in 2019, we were recording steady improvements in trade and economic relations between both countries prior to the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The indicators include the increase in the number of Japanese companies in Nigeria from 32 in 2017 to 43 today,” the embassy disclosed,
“As soon as the situation begins to normalise, we shall take steps to pursue Nigerian-Japan relations with vigour and resolute determination, through robust engagements in economic and trade activities.
“We shall continue to bolster the networks of trade and economic activities between relevant actors and stakeholders from both countries. We shall initiate, encourage and support new ideas to expand the scope of trade and economic activities between both countries.”
The statement said the Japanese companies “are engaged in different sectors of the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution, agriculture, machinery, automobile, manufacturing, engineering, electronics, infrastructure, food and seasoning, medical and healthcare.
The statement added that some of them manufacture products locally in their own plants in Nigeria.
He noted that another indicator was the increase in the volume of trade and economic activities between both countries.
“Recent statistics issued by competent government agencies from both countries attest to this positive trajectory.
“Although we have not been able to build substantially on the gains we garnered in 2019, the embassy is undeterred. We believe that Nigeria and Japan will overcome Covid-19 and come out of this challenging period stronger.
“Therefore, we look forward with great optimism to actualise the initiatives we have in the pipeline and consolidate on the achievements we recorded in 2019/20,” the embassy said in its statement.