Bilateral Franco-Nigerian trade drops by $ 2.2 billion in 2020 – Minister




By Emmanuel Oloniruha

France announced on Tuesday that its trade volume with Nigeria in 2020 fell to $ 2.3 billion, from $ 4.5 billion in 2019, as a result of COVID-19.

The French Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Mr. Frank Riester, revealed it during a meeting he held with the Forum of Governors of Nigeria (NGF), in Abuja, as part of his two-day official visit to Nigeria.

“We are optimistic about the future, when the crisis ends, because we have many companies that have set up shop here. We want a win-win partnership between our two countries.

“We have 100 companies established in Nigeria, representing 10,000 people working in these companies and we want to increase our investments in Nigeria,” he said.

Riester added that the French government is keen to contribute to the development of different states, by investing in both the private and public sectors, in order to deepen relations between the two countries.

He said that as Africa’s leading economy and West Africa’s economic engine room, Nigeria is indeed a major partner of France.

The minister said the French government was also putting in place measures that would allow more Nigerian companies to operate and invest in France.

“Tomorrow, I will meet Nigerian companies that have already invested in France, because others are ready to invest in the country.

“These companies will be invited to a specific meeting in Paris in June, where President Emmanuel Macron will host many companies from around the world, and some of them will be Nigerian, because we want more Nigerian investments in France.

Riester added that the government was also putting in place policies that would encourage more Nigerian investment in France, while the French government was also willing to help Nigeria tackle insecurity.

NGF Chairman Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State commended the French government for its interest in Nigeria, especially in the Federation States.

Fayemi, represented by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau, described the meeting, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and France, as fruitful.

He said the meeting was looking for ways to boost France’s collaboration and investment in Nigeria, especially with state governments.

Speaking later in an interview with reporters about the ongoing Nigerian Judicial Staff Union (JUSUN) strike protesting the failure to implement financial self-sufficiency in the country’s justice system, Lalong said that state governors were not against the financial autonomy of the judiciary.

Lalong, who said the governors were already in consultation with JUSUN, added that the NGF would meet on Wednesday to finalize the matter, as they did not need any order 10, to implement the financial autonomy of the power. judicial, because they played a key role. when the legislation on financial autonomy is adopted.

He said, however, that certain criteria needed to be in place for the financial autonomy of the judiciary to begin at the state level.

Lalong said financial autonomy is not about finances, but about strengthening the institution.

“You don’t wake up one day saying that you are becoming financially independent, because a law is passed, there must be processes.

“For example, as a past president, I will tell you that you cannot be financially self-sufficient until you create a service commission. You need to set up a state award committee. These are all steps towards autonomy.

“You don’t achieve autonomy overnight. We did that in the National Assembly, and there was no 10 implementing decree. It took them steps. The federal government knows about it.

“The members of the National Assembly, who are now governors, were members who fought for autonomy, so how can we be against autonomy,” Lalong asked. (NOPE)


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