From: Sisi Ochigbo, Abuja
The Federal government in partnership with the Canadian government has moved to revive the stalled bilateral agreement between both countries.
The two countries agreed there should be a resolution on the stalled bilateral treaty that is in existence. Nigeria has therefore requested for the amendment or renegotiation of the agreement.
A Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) was signed by Nigeria and Canada in May 2014, which Canada ratified in 2014.
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, stating that there is need to revive the stalled bilateral trade between the two countries.
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 under a Country-focused investment promotion strategy, NIPC has undertaken diligent process of identifying 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.
“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.