As part of efforts to grow stronger economic ties between Nigeria and Germany, the delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria-German Business Association and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) hopes to explore new investment opportunities at this year’s forum.
According to the organisers, the investment forum which kicked-off yesterday with the theme; “Leveraging partnership for economic growth”, will provide opportunities for Nigerian and German businesses to network, exchange information and establish business contacts.
Speaking at the German-Nigeria business forum, the Governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos, Olayinka Oladunjoye assured investors of stable political environment, improvement in power supply, security in the state, among others.
Ambode said his government is currently focusing on the development of critical business sectors such as agriculture and food processing, provision of equipment to farmers, promotion of agricultural value chains, and expansion of fish production.He further revealed that 1000MW of power out of the proposed 4000MW will be available this year, stressing that it will reduce dependence on gas from the Niger delta as he also called on investors to take advantage of the Lagos State free trade zone which is open to all nationals and countries of the world.
“Without doubt, Lagos state is a commercial and industrial state in Nigeria with the population of 24.8 million and at annual population growth rate of 3.2 per cent, immigration rate of six persons per hour, 25 per cent active youth population between 15 and 25 years. Lagos State is the fifth largest economy in Africa having a gross domestic product of $136 billion and accounting for almost third per cent of the country’s GDP. Therefore as an economic giant of Africa, Lagos state will continue to design and administer policies and initiatives that will help attract investment to Nigeria”, he added.
A delegate, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, Dr. Marc Lucassen said the aim of the forum was to promote economic prosperity between Nigeria and German, create more business opportunities and provide excellent relationship between both countries.The Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide adequate security for investors as economic stability is imperative in any economy. He also implored the government to ensure free and fair election in the country.
The Executive Secretary/CEO Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku during her presentation described Africa as the most attractive investment destination in the world, stating that the population speaks to market and potential consumers as Africa is the only continent designated in 2050 to grow more than double in size, while Nigeria will grow more than five per cent a year.
She urged investors to believe Africa and Nigeria’s attractiveness will improve in the future, stating that statistics shows 66 per cent believe attractiveness has improved over the past year in Africa, while 81 per cent believe the attractiveness will improve over the next few years.According to her, part of the nation’s growth plan is to diversify the economy and a lot of growth seen has been driven by the non-oil sector.