Nigeria Highly Strategic To France- Macron

Macron: France's President reveals reason for agreements with Nigeria - 1st  for Credible News

Yemisi Izuora

France has identified Nigeria as its strategic partner sharing many strategic interests for mutual beneficial development.

The country’s President, Emmanuel Macron, said Nigeria is a powerhouse in Africa which is why France is building tight and diverse cooperation with her.

Macron stated this on Wednesday, November 10, in Paris at the Nigeria international Partnership Forum (NIPF), a high-level event on the sidelines of the Paris Peace Forum.

Macron who spoke through French Minister of Foreign Trade and Economy, Mr Franck Reister, said his country and Nigeria shared many strategic interests.

According to him, “France may seem a distant partner for Nigeria, even when it is surrounded by French-speaking countries with whom France shares a long history and where our companies have a strong foothold.

“However, the reality is actually quite different: because France mainly, is Nigeria’s second financial bilateral partner after China, with around 3 Billion Euros of loans to the federal government.

“Nigeria is also our first trading partner on the continent; and a very strategic one in the oil and gas sector; since more than 10 per cent of our gas supply comes directly from Nigeria.

“More than 100 French companies are present in Nigeria; whereas almost 20 per cent of French Foreign Direct Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa are directed to Nigeria,” he said.

“In 2019, the stock in Nigeria reached the very impressive amount of 9.7 Billion Euros; and would like to stress that we have longstanding and intense cultural, academic and scientific relations,”

Macron described France also as a great supporter of the vibrant cultural creativity of the Nigerian people; as witnessed for instance, during the recent Africa 2020 season.

He noted that his country was committed to the stability of the Sahel region; and the safety of maritime trade routes of the Gulf of Guinea

Macron, however, noted that in spite of these remarkable facts and figures; the trade relations between both countries had remained below its true potential.

“I believe that we have much to build together to give bilateral trade a new impetus.

“Nigerian people’s entrepreneurial spirit is also well known; and certainly the most dynamic among their peers in Africa.

“Of course, challenges remain on multiple fronts; and I commend the Nigerian government for tackling those topics head-on,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari, traveled to the event with Ministers and business entrepreneurs from Nigeria and France.

The conference was organized to bring together the Nigerian and French governments including private sectors in wide-ranging discussions focused on security, regional stability, trade, and industrialization.

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