Nigeria, in a bid to attract investors, continues to partner with different countries. One of such countries is France, with a long-standing relation with Nigeria.
The government’s hope is that it could improve investment opportunities and increase foreign direct investment (FDI).
Now, France has pledged to support the Nigerian government and private sector in the area of energy.
The French Minister for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness, and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht, said this.
A Strong Base In Nigeria
Speaking at the French-Nigerian Economic Summit in Lagos, Becht, said that French businesses already have a strong presence in Nigeria.
Becht said RTE- the national power transporter in France is providing advice for the conception of the Northern Corridor.
A major infrastructure project which France is financing €200m through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).
He added: “France is among the very top investors to Nigeria, with over $10 billion in investment stocks.
Together, the hundred or so French companies that have a permanent presence in Nigeria, in a wide range of sectors, employ over 10,000 people in the country, mostly Nigerians.
Here To Do Business
“These French companies are not just selling French products: they are investing in Nigeria’s economy and creating jobs, factories, farms and vocational training centers.”
According to him, the implementation of the reform agenda had raised high expectations among French companies and investors.
Many of these companies made the trip, especially from France.
Becht cited agriculture, energy, and tech as the areas having the greatest potential for the future of the bilateral relations.
Proper Network Can Foster Business Growth
The Chairman of the France-Nigeria Business Council, Dr Hebert Wigwe, discussed the need for a network to help businesses in Nigeria grow.
He said the establishment of Access Bank in Paris is a milestone expected to support French businesses coming to Nigeria and vice versa.
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Wigwe highlighted the importance of mutually beneficial relationships, encouraging French companies to return to Nigeria.
He expressed the readiness of Nigeria for business.
President, of the French-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Usman Mohammed, explained that the goal was to promote businesses between France and Nigeria.
He expressed gratitude for the partnership with the France-Nigeria Business Council.
Nigeria-France relations have yielded huge returns to both countries.
Nigeria is the leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth-largest in Africa, behind Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In 2021, Nigeria accounted for 20% of France’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa, amounting to €3.53 billion. France has a bilateral trade deficit of €2.3 billion.