Both the Nigerian and Canadian government are willing to restore the stagnant bilateral relations between the two countries. This was revealed during a visit of the new Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Philip Baker, to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah in Abuja.
Baker who was excited to be in Nigeria after working in Ethiopia said: “Canada was ready to collaborate with Nigeria in key areas like mining and aviation in which his country is well developed”.
He said the task before him was to boost trade between the two countries as a means of building future relationships. He, therefore, sought to know what could be done together.
The High Commissioner, Enelamah said he believed that Baker’s African experience would be useful during his work in Nigeria. He welcomed the relationship between the two countries.“We will collaborate with you, we will work with you,” the minister promised.
A Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) was signed by Nigeria and Canada in May 2014, which Canada ratified in 2014. But Nigeria decided not to ratify the agreement because it was later found unstable and not consistent with Nigeria’s 2016 bilateral investment treaty (BIT) model. Therefore, Nigeria requested the revision or renegotiation of the agreement.
The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku, said under a country-focused investment promotion strategy, the NIPC had undertaken the constant process of identifying countries that are strategic to Nigeria’s quest for direct investments.
Sadiku emphasised saying, although Canada is among the 20 countries of strategic importance, Nigeria’s new policy considers investors’ rights but ensures that Nigeria is not disadvantaged.
Investment promotion capabilities of NIPC focuses on targeting and attracting domestic and international investors and investments. It is also actively contributing after-care support for businesses in Nigeria.