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FNCCI recommits to bilateral ties between France, Nigeria

By Benjamin Alade
16 November 2021   |   2:41 am
The Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has said French companies remain committed to doing business in Nigeria despite challenges.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron (L) greets Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in the grounds of the Elysee Palace, in Paris on November 10, 2021. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

The Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has said French companies remain committed to doing business in Nigeria despite challenges.

Director-General, FNCCI, Moses Umoru, disclosed this while speaking on the France-Nigeria relations on the occasion of the 2021 French Week celebration in Lagos.

The French week celebration is scheduled to hold from the 19 to the 26th of November in Lagos to celebrate French business resilience in Nigeria.

Umoru said the celebration will bring together business figures from France and Nigeria in an atmosphere of networking and business exchanges and it is believed that this event will further enhance the relationship between France and Nigeria as both countries are on the path to greater economic prosperity.

He said: “Although the COVID-19 pandemic affected trade between both countries as the volume of trade between France and Nigeria dropped to $2.3bn in 2020 from $4.5bn in 2019, French companies in Nigeria remained committed to doing business as most embarked on CSR Projects like Schneider Electric, Total Energies and others further stamped their footprints in Nigeria like Danone (Fanmilk), with huge investments in backward integration for the production of dairy milk for their products, Delifriost Nigeria now sourcing local milk from Kano state for their Dairy products, among others.”

He stressed that the efforts and activities of the key economic players like the AFD (French Development Bank), Business France, the Economic department of the Embassy and The Franco-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce have supported the growth of the French-Nigeria business relations in Nigeria.

Umoru said the visit of the French Minister for Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, the meeting of Nigerian business moguls with the President of the French Republic, and other very strategic moves by the French government have and will continue to catalyze trade activities in Nigeria, says the DG.

According to him, Nigeria remains France’s leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth in Africa behind Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia with the energy sector taking a prominent position in trade and other sectors like agriculture, e-commerce, transportation, logistics, and other service areas following suit.

He said the commitment of the French government towards the growth of start-ups in Africa was also acknowledged (with a keen focus on Nigeria) as President Macron had earlier pledged a financial commitment of £130 million at the New Africa-France Summit covering the next three years.

He added that the Chamber on its part also opened a new membership category where young entrepreneurs in Nigeria can benefit from the chamber’s ecosystem at no cost. Technical training, Trade exhibition, and other programmes have been organised for the members of this category since its inception.

He mentioned that the French week 2021 is sponsored by UBA, Schneider Electric, Zenith bank, Total Energies, Delifrost, Bollore Transport & Logistics, SPIE, African Reinsurance Corporation, Oxford International Group, Bourbon Interoil Nigeria Ltd, Mazars, GMT Nigeria Ltd, Clina-Lancet, NESSCO, Relais International, Bolamark Engineering, Aelex, CFAO, Swipha Pharma, Danone, and Vallourec.