EU pledges support for Made in Nigeria products
3 November 2017
The EU-Nigeria Business Forum wrapped up on Friday in Lagos with the European Union (EU) pledging to support Nigeria in improving quality and standards of “Made in Nigeria” agriculture products.The EU said it would work to make Nigeria’s products competitive internationally. The pledge is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Forum ahead of the AU-EU summit scheduled to be held in Abidjan between November 20 and 30.
The communiqué said the forum explored ways of further strengthening trade relations between the EU and Nigeria through partnership agreements, and identifying value chains with high inclusive growth potential and investing in the right mix of skills.
It noted that the “Nigerian government promotes youth participation in agriculture, but access to financing is still a challenge.” The Forum harped on the need to develop the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector in Nigeria.
“The ICT sector will give 80 per cent of the population access to information via internet in the next few years, and become a future major source of revenue for the country. EU companies strongly believe in the opportunities this sector offers, and are planning investments in the country.
“The European Investment Bank (EIB) and African Development Bank are supporting ICT investments with a 150 million euros Investment platform tagged “Boost Africa”.
The communique further noted that the recently-launched 4.1 billion euros European External Investment Plan and the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement would further attract investments and promote Nigeria’s agribusiness exports.
The Forum stressed that enormous financial gains could be made every year if discriminatory laws and policies were changed to empower women in the workforce and as entrepreneurs.
“Moreover, 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population is youth and its compelling force and energies need to be harnessed through empowerment and education. Gender balance, women and youth empowerment will be at the core of discussions that will take place at the AU-EU Summit in Abidjan on 29-30 November 2017,” according to the communique.
It also stated that the Forum was attended by Minister of Communications Technology, Adebayo Shittu, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
The ambassadors and consular generals of the EU countries and key Nigerian players and stakeholders including the national president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture also attended.