By Progress Godfrey, Abuja
The Nigerian Embassy to Ireland has inaugurated a Local Organising Committee (LOC), for the Nigeria Ireland Trade and Investment Summit to foster improved economic cooperation between the countries.
The Summit is a program designed to bring together key stakeholders on issues of business, trade, and investment; to brainstorm on ways of attracting more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to strengthen Nigeria’s economy.
The event is scheduled to take place from 30th June to 2nd July 2022 in Dublin under the theme “Prospering together Through Trade and Investment”.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland and Iceland, Her Excellency, Mrs Ijeoma Obiezu delivering a speech in Abuja on Thursday at the official inauguration of the LOC, said the summit became necessary due to the country’s national interests and in particular to “foster improved economic cooperation between Nigeria and various host countries.”
She further said that the Summit would provide the opportunity for a policy dialogue on deepening bilateral economic relations, networking between governments and businesses, product exhibition spaces and advertisement.
“Imperative reasons for the Summit are hinged on complementing the economic diversification program of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR as well as supporting the sustainable recovery of the Nigerian economy from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated.
The Ambassador therefore, disclosed that participation in the forthcoming Summit is open to all Federal Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), State and local government, Businesses, International Organisations, Civil Society and the Media.
Also speaking, the CEO SECONDMAY RESOURCES LTD and official consultant to the summit, Sir Chinedu Ogubuike KSM, stated that the summit is one that will have results, not just a talk show where people deliver paper and nothing happens. “We want to do something different with timeline, that after this summit by July, we will see investments going on everywhere in Nigeria as a result of this very summit.
“In two years, we expect to see manufacturing industries in the agriculture, food sector, rail sectors established here in the country as a result of the summit, so it’s a very big program,”
Ogubuike therefore, expressed satisfaction that Her Excellency, the Ambassador to Ireland has given the summit the attention it deserves by coming down personally to inaugurate the LOC members.
He assured that the LOC members with his support as the special consultant will do well.
The President and CEO of the Irish Nigerian Business Association, Mr Eugene Nwosu speaking on what Nigerians can leverage to gain from Ireland, said that the Irish have Agriculture in common with Nigeria, adding it is one major thing that Nigeria can benefit from.
“The mainstay of the Irish economy is agriculture and Nigeria under President Mohammadu Buhari has made agriculture the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
“The major non-oil sector of the economy in Nigeria is agriculture and Ireland has so much investment that they need to expand into a country like Nigeria with so much potential. Nigeria is the number one booming place in Africa and we want to expose that to the Irish investors,” he said.
Nwosu noted that just recently, the Irish Farmers Association took a trade to Saudi Arabia, stating that being the superpower and agricultural mainstay in Africa, Nigeria will do evn better if exposed to Irish investors.
According to him, over the years, foreign investors have been scared of reliability. “Another thing that we are selling to the Irish community is that they can gain access to reliable partnership in Nigeria,” Nwosu said.
The members of the LOC include representatives from the Nigerian investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nasarawa State government among others.