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Political Outlook to Determine Canadian Investment in Nigeria

| May 10, 2013 More

Governor Godswill Akpabio

Chuks Okocha 
just back from Toronto

Despite the signing of the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) between Nigeria and Canada  and the conclusion of the Nigeria-Canada investment conference last week in Ottawa and Toronto respectively between both countries, the expected Canadian investment into Nigeria may not start trickling in due to what a source described as “security concerns.”

THISDAY investigations revealed that as much as the Canadian investors see Nigeria as an attractive investment destination, there was general apprehension such that most members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) would prefer to defer their investment drive until after the 2015 general election.

According to a senior official of CCC who spoke with THISDAY in Toronto after the conclusion of the Nigeria– Canadian Investment Conference, “The signing of the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) in Ottawa between Nigeria and Canada was a great impetus for investment, but what is happening in Nigeria in terms of conflicts occasioning insecurity is a cause for worry to some of us.

“What the Nigerian government and its delegation displayed here in Toronto was great. It took China 13 years to sign a trade agreement that only took Nigeria less than three months. But there is this fear of insecurity and therefore there is the need to tarry and see how things develop, especially after the 2015 general election.

“As we talk, a senior government official was quoted to have said in the United States, that there may not be peace in Nigeria, if the incumbent President of Nigeria did not win the general election. It is therefore the view of most members of the CCC to tarry till the general election is come and gone”, the senior member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce told THISDAY.

Though the CCC official said  Canadian  companies already in Nigeria may not pull out because they are already in, but added, “common sense is that we wait a while.”

The governors of some states in Nigeria presented a wonderful profile of investment climates in their respective states.

The governors apparently aware of the security situation in the country, assured the Canadian investors of  adequate security at all times.

Governors Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Isa  Yuguda of Bauchi State and  Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun  were spectacular in their presentations, designating their states as the ‘real investment havens’ in Nigeria with the abundant oil, gas and solid minerals.

Amaechi and Akpabio specifically assured of security and the provision of adequate enabling laws to the Canadian investors.

According to the Rivers State governor, “Port Harcourt is the second largest economy and currently generating electricity of more than 715 megawatt and promising a 24/7 power by June.”

He said the state has over 900 hectares of land for specialised agriculture.

Akpabio, who spoke on the ‘Uncommon Transformation’ in the state, said there is a new deepsea port built to accommodate all types of sea going vessels, with good roads, ultra modern airport with aviation facilities and tourist facilities.

He said the state can boost of energy and power to almost 90 per cent, a situation that was 37 per cent on assumption of office.

The governor equally explained that there was adequate human capital development to cater for the needs of the Canadian investors.

He said the state had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Bombardier Express to help flights into the newly constructed airport in Uyo.

His Bauchi State counterpart, Isa Yuguda, who hammered on the provision of security, promised adequate security to all investors. According to him, “Bauchi State with a population of 6.5 million, fertile ground, and clement weather with irrigation for agriculture for more than 450,000 hectares of land remains investors’ haven with its tourist centre at the Yankari Game Reserve.”

Category: Bauchi State News

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