The bilateral trade between Nigeria and France has been estimated to have grown to €3.53 billion annually, said Usman Mohammed, president of the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He said Nigeria accounts for about 20 percent of France’s trade with sub-Saharan African countries.
“France’s business and economic interest has continued to grow in Nigeria. Nigeria is France’s leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth largest in Africa behind Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia,” Mohammed said.
Speaking to newsmen during a press conference to announce the upcoming French Week scheduled to take place in Lagos from November 17th –24th, Mohammed said the French government through its development agencies, is financing various projects across the country in line with the Sustainable Goals Agenda (SDG).
He said the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) signed a €25 million grant agreement for the Northern Corridor project co-financed by the European Union for power generation last year and is currently working with the Federal Government of Nigeria to fund the creative sector with about €100 million.
On the significance of the French Week celebration, he said French companies in Nigeria also remained committed to doing business and impacting the environment.
“We see brands like TotalEnergies impact projects covering power, healthcare, education, and others with huge investment in the upstream sector of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
Fanmilk (Danone) has huge investments in backward integration for the production of dairy milk for their products and the commissioning of its modern dairy farm in Odeda, Ogun State, and Schneider Electric Nigeria is empowering local communities by promoting local sustainability initiatives and educational support.
There are SPIE oil and gas training programmes for young Nigerians in various skill areas, and Access Bank Nigeria now has a functioning office in Paris with initiatives to ensure the flow of economic activities between both countries.
Mohammed also pointed out the efforts and activities of the other economic players like Business France; leading French business delegations to Nigeria in various sectors for prospection, the Economic Department of the Embassy, and the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry which have supported the growth of French-Nigeria business relations.
Highlighting the impact being made by the Chamber in the promotion of the France-Nigeria business relationship, the President recounted the high-impact initiatives being carried out by the Chamber including trade missions to France, high-level networking events, meetings with key government agencies, and support for the Chamber’s start-ups.
The French week starting on the 17th of November with the global Beaujolais event, will have among its events line up, a high-powered business forum with the presence of the French Minister of Foreign Trade and French Nationals Abroad, Olivier Becht, and Wale Edun, Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy of Nigeria.