By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme
Ryan Ward, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada in Nigeria, based in Lagos, has said that Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the largest investor in Canada from the region.
He disclosed this during the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit 2018 recently held in Abuja. The summit brought together the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Nigerian ministers & other government officials, Canadian investors, Nigerian entrepreneurs and Diaspora living in Canada.
According to him, over $895 million (Eight Hundred & Ninety Five Million Dollars) has been invested into Canada by Nigerians in the past years. The Trade is bringing both countries together and Nigeria has the largest number of students studying in Canada.
“If you look at the sectors of growth in Nigeria, they are in line with Canadian expertise whether infrastructure, telecommunication, natural resources, aviation, technologies.”
“Canada doesn’t have much experience in Africa as compared to our competitors, and as a result our company doesn’t have the understanding of working in the continent,” said Ryan Ward, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada. “We are shifting wings to international trade. It is clear that Canada needs to ensure that its export and investment links are more diversified to boost our economy. Our government has recognized this.”
Ryan further explained that as part of the mandate given to Canada’s minister of international trade, there will be more interest for Canadian companies to explore Africa, and to make more trade & investment in Nigeria.
“Well, the most important tools of attracting increased Canadian investment into Nigeria is the rectification of the Canada-Nigeria Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement
“I am very excited to be here as i have spent three and half years in Kenya and i see the African market as the future for Canadian trade and investment.
“Nigeria bilateral relationship with Canada is different from what we have with other African countries that has experienced Canada’s presence in the market,” he added.