By Victor Gotevbe,
The Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Nigeria on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 held a Press briefing at the Nigeria Belgian Chamber of Commerce in view of the 7th EU-Nigeria Business Forum slated for Thursday, October 4 and Friday, October 5, 2018 at the Grand Ball Room of Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. This year’s event is tagged: “ Building Partnerships for Growth and Job Creation”. His Excellency, Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State will flag off the event with about four hundred (400) people expected to attend from different parts of Europe and Nigeria.
The Press briefing had in attendance the European Union Deputy Head of Delegation to Nigeria, Ambassador, Richard Young; President of the European Union Business Organization, Nigeria, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem and Mr. Filippo Amato, Head of Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS who led the discussion with Media Professionals present.
Ambassador Young highlighted some of the reasons why the event is being put together and why it is important the discussions still continue this year since 2012 the forum started. He expressed that “we want to see how Europe can make Nigeria a better place. What is good for Nigeria is good for Europe.”
He noted that the demographics of Nigeria with a rich population of over 200 million people out of the 2 to 3 billion people living in Africa is not something to overlook. “It is true that Nigeria will become very “population rich” but if it doesn’t deal with the poverty ravaging the country then it will be about a poor population. Therefore, it becomes very necessary to maximize the dividends of Nigeria’s demographics by introducing more investment, more growth and more jobs as well as good policies”.
He further expressed that the EU working with Nigeria will undoubtedly bring about prosperity. It is in the light of the foregoing that this year’s Forum will address three topical issues, ranging from launching of European Union Business Organization (EBO), Raise Awareness on the Opportunities in Circular Economy and Innovative financing.
The event will witness the launching of the EBO in order to further build on the relationship with EU companies in Nigeria and the EU Delegation and the EU Member States. The EBO Nigeria will represent the voice of European companies across various sectors of the economy, and ensure a high level policy dialogue with Nigerian authorities and organized private sector, with the objective of improving the business and investment climate and fostering business and trade relations between the EU and Nigeria. There will also be sensitization of the private sector on Financial instrument to support investments, including the opportunities in the External Investment Plan (EIP).
There will be specific sessions aimed at addressing issues surrounding business climate: certainty of Government policies; enforcement of contracts to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as leveraging Innovative Financial Instruments to attract investments to Nigeria. There will also be a session to explore a strategy towards identifying the opportunities in the Circular economy as aforementioned.