7 December 2011, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – The Government of Canada has said it plans to significantly increase its investment and presence in Nigeria within the next couple of months.
Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter, listed areas where the country is considering more investment to include mining, oil and gas as well as telecommunication and education sectors.
He spoke at the Young Entrepreneurs Forum, organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Government of Canada, in Lagos.
Cooter said Canada’s minimum investment in mining sites in a number of countries around the world is put at $2 billion, and the country will not hesitate to replicate that in Nigeria’s mining sector.
According to him, Canada’s presence is currently not being felt in the Nigeria economy, and it is aware that a number of things are missing in its relationship with Nigeria.
He said currently the trade between Nigeria and Canada is going well, but a lot still has to be achieved in this area.
Cooter put the value of trade between both countries at about $2 billion in 2010, noting, however, it has already put machineries in motion to ensure an increase in the level of trade.
He said as part of the process of increasing the bi-lateral trade relationship between it and Nigeria, a number of Canadian companies will be setting up shop in Nigeria within the next couple of months to take advantage of opportunities in key sectors of Nigeria.
He said, “Nigeria and Canada have had a long relationship, but why can’t we have a bigger economic relationship. Some of the Oil and Gas companies are here, we are in information technology, blackberry is prepared to set up shop here in Nigeria, our businesses are establishing here, and they are realizing the potential of Nigeria.
We have Canadians in all sectors of the economy doing business here in Nigeria. We have airplanes here, we have services here, among others, and we are looking at doing much more.
“The trade between both countries is about $1 billion to $2 billion in goods alone, we are aware that there are lot more than that in other sectors, but we can do much more and we are working towards achieving that.
Cooter further stated that Canada has already started the process of increasing relationship with Nigeria, especially in the area of economic exchange.