James Emejo in Abuja
The federal government has called on Chinese companies as well as other foreign investors to play a stronger role in adding value to Nigeria’s raw commodity exports.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Saratu Umar, said going forward, companies should be able to establish factories and process raw materials in Nigeria.
She noted that even though the country had done a lot of exports to China, the former would like to replace raw material export with processed or finished goods going forward.
Speaking while receiving a delegation from the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, comprising members of the China General Chamber of Commerce (Trade and Investment Promotion Office), Umar said Nigeria has lots of potential in agriculture and solid minerals among an endless list of opportunities and urged the investors to focus on value-chain addition that would create a win-win situation for the parties.
She said while value chain addition would help conserve foreign exchange for Nigeria, it would equally enable the Chinese companies to repatriate their proceeds.
The NIPC boss said, “We have lots of potential in agriculture and solid minerals among an endless list.
“We are inviting countries, particularly China to come and play in the Nigerian economy to help develop our value chains, set up industries within the value chains that you can process and it would be a win-win; you should be able to repatriate your proceeds as the law allows you to do that.
“But at the same time, we also want to take the benefit of developing the value chain and developing the country as well. And that’s the direction I want China to see on where we want to go.”
She said the NIPC was in the process of developing the Nigerian Investment
However, Chinese Economic Minster- Counsellor in the embassy, Mr. Wang Xijia, commended the bilateral trade relations between both countries over the past years.
He said Nigeria remained China’s third investment destination in Africa, adding that total investment from Chinese companies to Nigeria amounted to about $290 million in 2022 compared to about $300 million in the preceding year.
Wang, who only assumed his duties in January said Chinese investors had enjoyed strong support from local partners, the Nigerian government including the NIPC, adding that he would seek to deepen the existing cordial trade relationship between China and Nigeria.
“We are looking to see more Chinese business delegations coming to Nigeria. We are very happy that our investors enjoyed their operations with local partners, and we are also delighted to see free trade zones in Lagos.
“In that free trade zone, we have many Chinese investors in building materials and other sectors and they are very satisfied with the investment environment over there. And we are going to promote more Chinese investments to come here, “he said.