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Foreign Minister Tuggar Calls for Strengthening of Economic Ties Between Nigeria, Canada

Foreign Minister Tuggar says Nigeria is Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa but advocated for stronger ties.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar has called for strengthening of bilateral and economic  ties between Nigeria and Canada.

Tuggar who recently paid a working visit to Canada where he engaged with various critical stakeholders in furtherance of Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Canada, said during his meeting with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, that Nigeria is Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa and called on both countries to strengthen trade ties, given the ongoing implementation of the AfCFTA.

Similarly, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, stated that Canada is committed to supporting socioeconomic development in Nigeria and the wider region for mutual benefit.

According to a statement on Monday by the spokesman of the Nigeria’s Minister, Alkasim AbdulKadir, both countries resolved to take steps to finalise the outstanding MOUs, including the bilateral Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPPA) ahead of the Canadian Trade Mission to Nigeria in June 2024.

He said, the Ministers also discussed regional security in Africa, with Joly lauding Nigeria’s leadership role in the region and offered Canada’s support in strengthening stability and democracy in West Africa.

He said: “They also agreed to work together on a range of regional and global issues, ranging from seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts to multilateral reform and countering disinformation. The bilateral engagement represents a significant step forward in the already robust relations between the two countries.”

AbdulKadir said Tuggar also met with the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association (CAAF) to discuss Canada-Nigeria relations and regional African issues. He used the opportunity to explain the 4-D foreign policy thrust and ongoing developments in ECOWAS and the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Tuggar equally met with the Parliamentary Secretary, Robert Oliphant, where he explored avenues for enhanced partnership on multilateral reform, African security, education, healthcare, trade, and investment, particularly in the areas of mining, metals refining, energy, and digital economy.

He noted that Oliphant expressed deep appreciation for the visit, stating that it demonstrated the robust relations between the two countries.

AbdulKadir revealed that the Minister also met with the senior leadership of Carleton University and took a tour of its facilities, including the technology and innovation hub, as well as the Institute for African Affairs.

He said Carleton University has several partnerships with Nigerian universities and is an example of the strong educational cooperation between Nigeria and Canada.

He met with the President of the Business Council of Canada (BCC), Goldy Hyder, where they discussed opportunities for enhanced trade and investment, particularly in renewable energy and infrastructure., noting that the BCC is exploring the possibility of visiting Nigeria later this year to follow up on the productive engagement.

Tuggar also met with the Canadian Parliamentary Secretary on Export Promotion, International Trade, and Economic Development, Maninder Sidhu, to expand the bilateral trade relationship between the two countries. The Minister during the visit, highlighted the linkages between democracy, stability, and sustainable growth, especially given the emergence of the AfCFTA.

The Parliamentary Secretary stated that Canada wants to support Nigeria’s economic development. They also discussed partnerships in the areas of infrastructure, energy, agriculture, technology, and AI.

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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