Foreign exchange rate and insecurity have been described as major threats and impediments to Nigeria-Canada trade valued at $2.7bn annually.
The Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Teshome Nkrumah, made this revelation in Lagos on Thursday during a business roundtable themed, ‘Creating Opportunities for Fresh Foreign Direct Investment into the Nigerian Economy’ which was organised by the Nigerian-Canadian Business Association.
Nkrumah said, “Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in Africa, and our trade relations about $2.7 billion every year, which is another paltry sum for the Giant Of Africa in my view, and Nigeria benefits by $2.6 billion in exports to Canada, and $600 million Canadian imports.”
He said, regardless of the returns, the risk of investing in Nigeria had become very high, noting that no investor would be encouraged to put his money in a country where there were too many risks.
According to him, despite Nigeria remaining Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa with about $1.6 investment in the mining sector alone, the figure was significantly infinitesimal considering the huge opportunities in the country. He explained that there were locations and sites where mines and minerals were deemed susceptible to insecurity, thereby discouraging investors.
He said, “The truth of the matter is investing in a country is a risk-reward calculus. And the reward, in terms of returns, is significantly higher in an emerging country like Nigeria and emerging market like Nigeria, so the risk is high.”