14 December 2018

Nigeria: 'New Investments in Key Sectors to Drive Nigeria, Norway Trade Ties'

With a trade volume pegged at $30 billion, the Chief Executive Officer, Marine Platforms and Consul General of Norway, Taofik Adegbite, has stated that efforts are underway to improve bilateral ties between Nigeria and Norway as new areas of investments are being explored by investors from both countries.

Indeed, the envoy expressed optimism of the trade ties doubling in a relative short period of time with new investments being expressed in Nigeria's oil and gas sector.

According to Adegbite, opportunities for investment abound in sectors like maritime, oil and gas, renewable, aquaculture among others.

In a chat with journalists recently, he explained that stakeholders were exploring efforts to co-create value that can stand the test of time by bringing advantages of Norway into Nigeria in key areas of the economy.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, had explained that there is a lot both countries can do together, pointing out that Norway is currently making plans to increase investments in Nigeria's oil and gas industry with focus also on the power sector.

The Ambassador recently advised the deployment of cheap and stable power supply for Nigeria's manufacturing sector to be globally competitive.

"Traditionally we are looking at the oil and gas space, energy, renewable, aquaculture, marine and the maritime sectors. The execution strategy will be how to enhance sectoral linkages, peer-to-peer introductions. There is a lot of ambiguity around strategies.

"There are several interests in Nigeria and some of such foreign interests are looking at potentially being an operator in the oil and gas space. We are looking at how to formalise businesses in the country.

"There is a lot for both Norway and Nigeria to benefit from each other as trade allies with long history of engagement. But more can be achieved within an environment that is very conducive for Nigeria's foreign partners and allies to operate", Adegbite said.

In the area of local content development, Adegbite explained that investors are exploring areas of linkage for common wealth creation for everyone.

"We are yet to tap into the hydro power and we hope that inroads can be made into that soon", he added.

With many exporters expressing concerns about access to finance, Adegbite noted that if Norway's Export Guarantee Scheme is explored, the scheme will help exporters have access to cheap funds for the purpose of accessing equipment and machines from Norway.

"Norway is part of European Union and the export guarantee is based on OECD rules. The competitiveness of different countries in the EU is being explored by Norway in exploring trade deals with other partners and new frontiers.

"Norway is at the forefront of carbon emission and eradication of fossil fuel. Despite producing a huge quantum of crude oil, the country is equally seeking movement away from fossil fuel to a cleaner environment. Norwegian companies are looking at a gas-focused field. The issue goes beyond making statements and implementing such statements.

"However, the federal government needs to provide support for private sector players to unlock greater opportunities in the maritime sector; and strengthen the environment for businesses and bilateral relationships to get stronger", he added.

Nigeria

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