• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Japan flags power failure, FX, others as major barriers discouraging investment in Nigeria

Japan flags power failure, FX, others as major barriers discouraging investment in Nigeria

The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi has expressed the readiness of Japanese investors to deepen investment in Nigeria and contribute to the overall development of the country; and called on the Nigerian government to address existing trade barriers.

The ambassador listed, foreign currency exchange (FX), electricity challenges, Apapa port logistics, Custom duties, and certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, as major challenges among several others.

Kazuyoshi said this at the 2nd Japan Nigeria Business Facilitation Council High Level Meeting which he hosted on Friday in Abuja. He explained that the essence of the meeting is to identify the challenges and map out solutions to addressing them, so as to make Nigeria more attractive not only to Japanese investors but to other foreign investors.

He argued that Japanese companies have the technology to assist Nigeria to solve existing social problems and diversify the economy.

The Ambassador further disclosed that the trade volume between Nigeria and Japan is currently valued at $ 1 billion per annum. He noted that Japan imports LNG, and agricultural products such as sesame seeds. According to him, 40 percent of the sesame seeds consumption in Japan is now coming from Nigeria, while Nigeria imports a lot of machinery.

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Kazuyoshi also informed that Japan will host the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) 8 in Tunisia in August 2022, with the Japanese prime minister and president Muhammadu Buhari in attendance. The conference, he said will present an opportunity to discuss further investments in Nigeria.

“The outcome of today’s dialogue will be a valuable source of record that Nigeria and Japan have been working together in the past years. After TICAD, the Japanese government will pay more attention to Nigeria and I expect more investment coming to Nigeria.

“We must overcome all the issues so that we would create a good working environment to attract more Japanese investments,” Kazuyoshi said.

Saratu Umar, executive secretary/CEO, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) assured the Business Facilitation Council that government will look at the problems highlighted and will engage different stakeholders to solve them, “hopefully before the next meeting”.

Umar said the NIPC aims at attracting more Japanese investors to increase the annual $1 billion trade portfolio, and will therefore provide more incentives.

“We have different incentives such as tax holidays, but what we are trying to do is to look at it holistically and see what we can reform or what we can even improve to make the economy more attractive to investors, especially with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. So we want to attract as much investment to Nigeria so that they can help us create jobs and facilitate development in our economy,” she said.