The French Minister for Foreign Trade, Economic Attractiveness and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht, has pledged to support the Nigerian government and private sector in the area of energy.
Speaking at the French-Nigerian Economic Summit in Lagos, Becht, said that French businesses already have a strong presence in Nigeria, with RTE- the national power transporter in France – providing advice for the conception of the Northern Corridor, a major infrastructure project to which the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is contributing €200m in financing.
He added: “France is among the very top investors to Nigeria, with over $10 billion in investment stocks. Together, the hundred or so French companies that have permanent presence in Nigeria, in a wide range of sectors, employ over 10,000 people in the country, mostly Nigerians.
“These French companies are not just selling French products: they are actually investing in Nigeria’s economy and creating jobs, factories, farms and vocational training centres.”
Stating that the implementation of the reform agenda had raised high expectations among French companies and investors, many of whom had made the trip especially from France, he cited agriculture, energy and tech as the areas having the greatest potential for the future of the bilateral relation.
The Chairman of the France-Nigeria Business Council, Dr Hebert Wigwe, discussed the need for a network to help businesses in Nigeria grow. He said the establishment of Access Bank in Paris is a milestone expected to support French businesses coming to Nigeria and vice versa.
Wigwe emphasised the importance of mutually beneficial relationships, encouraging French companies to return to Nigeria. He expressed the readiness of Nigeria for business.
President, French-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Usman Mohammed, expressed gratitude for the partnership with the France-Nigeria Business Council, explaining that the goal is to promote businesses between France and Nigeria.