By Sisi Ochigbo
Nigeria and Canada have agreed to cooperate to revive their stalled bilateral agreement.
The moribund agreement is “A Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA)’’ signed by Nigeria and Canada in May 2014, and ratified by Canada in 2014.
They agreed that there should be a resolution on the stalled bilateral treaties that were in existence.
Nigeria has therefore requested for the amendment or renegotiation of the agreements.
But 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.
The two parties made the move during a visit by the Canadian High Commission, Mr. Philip Baker to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enalema in Abuja.
Enalemah said: “We will collaborate with you, we will work with you, we believe that your African experience will be useful during your work in Nigeria.
“ I know relationship between the two countries must count. I am confident of the ability of Nigeria and Canada to harness their mutual interests and synergies effectively.’’
Speaking, Philip Baker commended the minister on the country’s efforts on the ease of doing business and its positive effect on the economy.
He said the task before him is to increase trade between the two countries as a means of building future relationships. He therefore wanted to know what could be done together.
Explaining Nigeria’s position, Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) said that under a Country-focused investment promotion strategy, NIPC has undertaken diligent process of identifying countries that were 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.
“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.”