The government of Nigeria and Canada have commenced moves to revive a delayed bilateral agreement.
Philip Baker, the new Canadian high commissioner to Nigeria, told Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of industry, trade and investment, during a courtesy visit in Abuja that his country is ready to collaboration in areas like mining and aviation.
Baker said he has been tasked to increase trade between the two countries as a means of building future relationships.
Both countries had signed a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPPA) in May 2014, which Canada ratified in 2014.
Nigeria decided not to ratify the agreement because it was later found unbalanced and not consistent with Nigeria’s 2016 bilateral investment treaty (BIT) model.
Nigeria has therefore requested for the amendment or renegotiation of the agreement.
Welcoming the Canadian diplomat, Enelamah said he believed that his African experience will be useful during his work in Nigeria. He appreciated the relationship between the two countries and said they must make it count.
“We will collaborate with you, we will work with you,” a statement by Bisi Daniels, his communications adviser, quoted the minister to have said.
Explaining Nigeria’s position, Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) said the council has identified countries that are strategic to Nigeria’s quest for direct investments.
“The deep-dive analysis conducted to determine the priority countries was based on five broad criteria related to Nigeria’s trade relations, global and sectoral investment flows, and Nigeria’s strategic relationships,” she said.
“Twenty countries were identified as being of strategic importance for investment promotion. NIPC is now working on building strategic relationships with the top 3-5 countries.”
She said although Canada is among the 20 countries of strategic importance, Nigeria’s new policy considers investors’ rights but ensures that Nigeria is not disadvantaged.