• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Nigeria, the Netherlands to strengthen ties in circular economy, horticulture, renewables

Nigeria, the Netherlands to strengthen ties in circular economy, horticulture, renewables

A Nigerian delegation consisting of 34 entrepreneurs and senior government officials has secured understanding with dutch businesses to deepen trade ties in the areas of horticulture, circular economy, and renewable energy technologies.

The trade mission facilitated by the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) on behalf of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the initiative of the Dutch Consulate General in Lagos State, saw the Nigerian delegation visit the Netherlands to strengthen economic ties.

“This visit marks a restart of the economic relationship between Africa and the Netherlands,” said Rosmarijn Fens, director of the NABC.

Fens said doing business with Africa has continued as usual during the coronavirus pandemic, but mainly with existing relationships.

“For new projects or expansion to other countries, these physical missions are still crucial, and we look forward to many more inbound and outbound trade missions later in the year,” he said.

The Nigerian delegation met and engaged with over 50 Dutch companies over the course of four days in various seminar sessions at the Hague. The attendees were segmented into three tracks – renewable energy, circular economy, and horticulture.

The energy transition track kicked off with a visit to the Floating Solar BV, a unique technology that sees solar panels installed on water.

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The horticulture track visited the Westland, often called the ‘Glass City’ due to the large greenhouse farming that occurs there. Delegates also visited Priva, gaining insight into automation, climate control, and water purification.

Delegates on the circular economy track visited the innovative Upcyclecentrum Almere, where the municipality of Almere works on concrete applications of circularity.

Arie Pileger, the Dutch deputy Consulate-General, Bram Wits Regional Agricultural Counselor for West Africa, and Brian Udoh, Senior Agriculture Policy Advisor, Dutch Consulate in Lagos, participated in the four-day programme focused on horticulture, renewable energy, and the circular economy.

Olaitan Ajayi, Nigerian ambassador to the Netherlands said both countries have to work together on a post-trade mission to transform the opportunities discovered into tangible resources of socio-economic development, especially in the areas of waste to wealth, power generation, food security, and the revitalisation of the agricultural value chain for the best interest of our and nation and our people.

Steven Collet, ambassador, business and development of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the visit follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2018 by the governments of the Netherlands and Nigeria.

“We said we would follow up with many meetings on trade, investments on these different sectors, which we did despite restrictions, we had online sections, which I think are already productive,” he said.

The Nigerian delegation included Abisola Olusanya, Lagos state commissioner for agriculture; Samuel Egube, Lagos state commissioner for economic planning and budget; Adebowale Akande, executive adviser to Oyo state governor on Agribusiness and senior specialist and head of Agribusiness, IITA

Others are Solape Hammond, special adviser to the governor of Lagos state on SDGs; and Olatunbosun Alake, special adviser to the governor of Lagos state on innovation technology.

Those from the private sector include Dr. Sunday Enebeli-Uzor, of Zenith Bank Plc; Sani Dangote Jnr, from Dansa Holdings Limited, Samuel Kwasari, from SCL Nigeria; Ayodeji Ibosiola, from LATC Agro(Dobi – AgriCo); Agharese Onaghise, from Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance ( FBRA) and Feyi Oseni from the Nigeria Breweries Plc.

After the visit, BusinessDay gathers that the Netherlands is partnering with the Nigerian Seed Council to improve the availability of high-quality seeds.

Evelyn Geurtsen, deputy director of European, International, and Agro-Economic Policy of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, said adding innovation to agriculture has made the Netherlands the second exporter of agricultural products and technology.

“We would like to explore whether there are concrete actions we can take together or ways to strengthen the corporation that brings us closer to our shared goals,” said Geurtsen.