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Nigeria, Canada move to revive stalled bilateral agreement

Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.
Minister of Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.

The governments of Nigeria and Canada have started moves to revive a stalled bilateral agreement between the two countries during the courtesy visit of the new Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Philip Baker, to Industry, Trade and Investment minister, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, in Abuja last week.

Baker, who expressed delight to be in Nigeria after working in Ethiopia, said Canada is ready to collaborate with Nigeria in key areas like mining and aviation in which his country is well developed.

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He commended the minister on the country’s efforts and achievements on the ease of doing business and on the economy.

He said the task before him is to increase trade between the two countries as a means of building future relationships and therefore sought to know what they could do together.

Welcoming the High Commissioner, Enelamah said he believed his African experience will be useful during his work in Nigeria and appreciated the relationship between the two countries, noting that they must make it count.

“We will collaborate with you, we will work with you,” the minister assured.

Earlier, the High Commissioner had raised the issue of the stalled bilateral treaty and called for a resolution.

A Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) was signed by Nigeria and Canada in May 2014, which Canada ratified that same year.

Nigeria, however decided not to ratify the agreement because it was later found stilted and not consistent with Nigeria’s 2016 Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) model.

Nigeria has therefore requested for the amendment or renegotiation of the agreement.

Explaining Nigeria’s position, Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said under a country-focused investment promotion strategy, NIPC had undertaken diligent process of identifying countries that are strategic to Nigeria’s quest for direct investments.

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