Abuja — Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Chief Ojo Madueke, has disclosed that the volume of trade between Canada and Nigeria has risen to U.S.$2.7 billion, with the latter being Canada's largest trading partner in Africa.
He said this in Abuja at a briefing on the upcoming Canada-Nigeria Investment Conference scheduled for May 2 - 3, 2013, in Toronto, where he disclosed that the Nigerian delegation would be led by Vice President Namadi Sambo, with at least 12 state Governors in attendance.
Madueke added that in spite of Nigeria's security challenges, Nigeria remains one of the most profitable countries to do business in, because of the huge market available. Investors, he said, are able to weigh the risks against the opportunities available in Nigeria.
"Mexico is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet what you see on cable TV makes you wonder how people still exist there due to the number of deaths from fights among drug cartels. Even Iraq had major companies moving in to establish," he said.
He added that the on-going visit of Canada's Minister for International Trade, Mr. Ed Fast, is the third by a Canadian cabinet Minister in the last four months, which signifies growing bilateral ties and interests between both nations.
There are opportunities for synergies in all sectors, he said, while calling on Nigeria's youth to tap into the potentials offered by the highly-successful Canadian economy and successes as the country with one of the best education structures in the world.
The President of the Canadian Council on Africa, Mr. Lucien Bradet, said the upcoming conference would be the largest organised by Canada and an African country and it is expected that marriages of trade would be made at the conference.
"I must let you know that it is a big task, we have to let Canadians know that Nigeria is the future, the leading tiger of Africa. Discussions and synergies would be held on all subjects; aviation, transportation, education, and others," he said. He disclosed that about 4000 Nigerians are currently studying in Canada.
Meanwhile, Fast has congratulated Bombardier on its announcement of the opening of a new authorised service facility at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos to serve its business-aircraft operators.
According to a statement issued by the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, the announcement, Fast said, reflects the fact that there is increased opportunity for Bombardier in the region.
The statement added that thenew facility is the company's third authorised service facility in Africa with the other two in South Africa.