Nigerian entrepreneurs to enjoy Canadian loans soon


Nigerian entrepreneurs will soon start to enjoy overseas financial facilities, if efforts by the government yield results. This enthusiasm is fuelled by recent appeal by the Federal Government to the Canadian authorities to assist in the economic growth of the country by granting loans to Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Vice President Namadi Sambo made the call in Ottawa, the Canadian capital, during a meeting he had with the Canadian Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Mr. Ed Fast.
Sambo said in spite of all the efforts of the government to reposition the nation’s economy, access to cheap funds remained the greatest challenge faced by the Nigerian entrepreneur. He said loans granted by multilateral agencies were channelled through local banks who structured them in their traditional system.
Responding to the request for loans for Nigerian entrepreneurs, Mr. Fast promised to take a second look at the request. He noted, however, that the country would not interfere with the decision-making process of its banks even though they were accountable to the minister.
Meanwhile, the two countries have signed the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement. The signing, witnessed by VP Sambo, was conducted by Minister Ed Fast and Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga.
Earlier on arrival at the Canadian Parliamentary building, the Vice President held a closed door meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. The meeting centred on bi-national commission and other sundry matters with far-reaching agreement.
“This agreement will facilitate investment flows between Canada and Nigeria, contributing to job creation and economic growth in both countries. It will provide Canadian companies and investors with the protection and confidence they need to take advantage of the many commercial opportunities in Africa’s most populous nation,” Harper said.
The agreement will come into force once both parties complete their respective domestic ratification processes. There are significant Canadian investment opportunities in Nigeria, including in the extractive, information and communications technology, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2006, annual bilateral trade between the two countries has more than doubled, reaching $2.3 billion by 2012. In 2011, Canadian direct investment in Nigeria totalled $36 million and is expected to grow as a result of this FIPA.

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