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Canada, FG strengthen ties, focus on trade

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By Abraham Adekunle

Strengthened bilateral relations to expand economic ties and improve security.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to strengthening ties with the country. During a working visit to Canada, Tuggar engaged with various stakeholders to advance bilateral relations. In a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, Tuggar highlighted the country’s position as Canada’s largest trading partner in Africa and called for further trade expansion in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Joly expressed Canada’s support for socio-economic development in the country and the region.

Both countries agreed to finalize outstanding Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), including the bilateral Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPPA), ahead of the Canadian Trade Mission to Nigeria in June 2024. The ministers also discussed regional security in Africa. Joly commended Nigeria’s leadership role and offered Canada’s support in strengthening stability and democracy in West Africa. They agreed to collaborate on various regional and global issues, including peaceful conflict resolution, multilateral reform, and countering disinformation.

4-D foreign policy thrust and partnership in education.

Tuggar also met with the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association (CAAF) to discuss bilateral and regional issues. He explained Nigeria’s 4-D foreign policy thrust and developments in ECOWAS and the AfCFTA implementation. He further explored avenues for enhanced partnership with Parliamentary Secretary Robert Oliphant on multilateral reform, African security, education, healthcare, trade, and investment, particularly in mining, metals refining, energy, and the digital economy. His visit included meetings with the leadership of Carleton University, where he discussed partnerships with Nigerian universities and toured technology and innovation facilities.

He also met with the President of the Business Council of Canada (BCC) to explore opportunities for enhanced trade and investment, particularly in renewable energy and infrastructure. The BCC is considering a visit to the West African country later this year. Tuggar also met with the Canadian Parliamentary Secretary on Export Promotion, International Trade, and Economic Development, Maninder Sidhu, to discuss expanding bilateral trade. He emphasized the link between democracy, stability, and sustainable growth, especially in the context of the AfCFTA.

Historical perspective to relations between both nations.

At the meeting, Sidhu affirmed Canada’s support for Nigeria’s economic development. They also explored partnerships in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, technology, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Meanwhile, both countries have a long history of diplomatic relations, dating back to 1962 when Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule. Canada was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Nigeria. Over the years, the two countries have maintained a strong and friendly relationship, with cooperation in areas such as trade, education, and security.

The North American country has been an important development partner for Nigeria, providing support in areas such as education, healthcare, and economic development. Canada has also been a key player in supporting Nigeria’s efforts to address security challenges, including the fight against Boko Haram. Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in Africa, with bilateral trade valued at over $1.5 billion in 2020. Nigeria’s economy is diversifying, with a growing focus on non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The country has a large and growing population, with a significant youth demographic, making it an attractive market for Canadian businesses.

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Despite the challenges facing Nigeria, including security and economic development, there are a lot of opportunities for Canada-Nigeria relations. One of them is that the AfCFTA provides a platform for increased trade and investment between Canada and Nigeria. Additionally, Nigeria’s growing focus on non-oil sectors presents opportunities for Canadian businesses to invest in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services. However, challenges such as security and economic development must be addressed for bilateral agreements to be fully implemented.


Related Link

Government of Canada: Website


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