James Christoff, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, paid an official visit to Lagos Business School (LBS), on October 10, 2023, to strengthen the diplomatic and economic ties between Nigeria and Canada.
Joining Christoff on the visit was a team of Canadian delegates who played pivotal roles in the discussions and engagements. The delegation consisted of C. J. Scott, deputy high commissioner and counsellor (trade), Michael Murphy, counsellor (political), Zaya Kuyena, second secretary (trade) and Demilade Kosemani, political program assistant.
The visit, which was a significant step towards enhancing the diplomatic and economic relations between Canada and Nigeria, also reflected a shared commitment to leveraging the strengths of both countries for the benefit of their respective economies and people, according to a statement.
“The delegates, led by Christoff, engaged in a series of meetings and activities aimed at fostering a deeper relationship between the two countries,” the statement said.
It said the visit commenced with a meeting where the delegation met with Chris Ogbechie, dean of LBS and some members of the management board, staff and alumni of the school.
“These discussions revolved around exploring opportunities to enhance trade, investment and educational collaborations between Canada and Nigeria.”
The topic of the discussion themed ‘Advancing Bilateral Relations: Enhancing Trade, Investment, and Educational Collaborations between Canada and Nigeria’, attracted an audience which comprised students, alumni, faculty and staff of the school.
Nigeria’s greatest asset is its human talents particularly, its entrepreneurship spirit, according to Christoff.
“And that is what I am impressed with. I spent a lot of my career in Africa and I can tell that there is an abundance of entrepreneurship skills in the country,” he said.
He said one major opportunity that can be expanded through Canada in Nigeria is education and that the country is the fifth largest source of students for Canada as there are close to 14,000.
“Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in Africa. The value is about a little over two billion dollars yearly. But it should be much more. That is why my team and I are focused keenly on acknowledging areas where there’s opportunity for both countries,” he added.