Acting President Yemi Osinbajo expresses the commitment of the Nigerian government towards improving its trade ties with the United States
To improve trade ties with the United States, Nigeria will continue to seek potential and greater areas of cooperation with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
He spoke when CCA President and CEO Ms Florizelle Liser visited him at the State House, Abuja, during her maiden trip to West Africa as part of the ongoing efforts to promote trade, investment and business engagement between the US and Africa.
CCA, a Washington DC-based organisation, is the leading US business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the US and Africa.
Osinbajo said Nigeria would take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to the US market beyond oil. He noted the importance of Nigeria being positioned in global supply chains; the progress being made in Niger Delta and the efforts at regaining the ease-of-doing business.
On this inaugural visit to West Africa as CCA’s CEO, Liser visited Ghana and Nigeria. In Nigeria, aside meeting with the Acting President, she also met with other high level government officials and business leaders including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.
Others were Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu; CEO, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs Yewande Sadiku; Executive Director and CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Olusegun Awolowo, as well as the US Ambassador to Nigeria.
Onyeama spoke about Federal Government’s plan to drive economic diplomacy and leverage Nigeria’s 114 foreign offices to drive Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) back home. “At the last United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), we were in touch with CCA and we were very impressed with the enthusiasm of US businesses to engage with Nigeria,” Onyeama said.
Enelamah commended Liser and CCA for their work in supporting Nigeria’s efforts to create an enabling business environment in Nigeria and promote US-Nigeria business partnerships.
Kachikwu discussed plans for modular refineries with the CCA President. According to him, the modular refineries model being introduced will be tailor-made to the Niger Delta, adding that the ministry would support investors looking to navigate the complex business environment.
The minister also asked for CCA and its members’ support in streamlining and standardizing technology in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. “We look to CCA when we have something strategic to do with the governments of Africa and promoting greater US FDI into Africa. We are in a trying period and we are looking at whatever investments that comes into Nigeria,” Kachukwu said.
Liser commended his efforts on “7-big wins” in the oil sector and stressed the importance of Africa to the US especially in the oil and gas sector.
She also had individual meetings with CCA members including Mr. Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group and Mr. Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank, both of whom sit on CCA’s Board of Directors.