The German government has announced a relaxation of its visa policy. This decision is aimed at fostering a closer economic partnership between Germany and Nigeria, to boost bilateral trade estimated at $3 billion. It is also a move to enhance trade relations and facilitate the migration of skilled employees between both countries.
Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor, disclosed this recently at the German Nigerian Business Conference in Lagos.
Scholz, in his speech, emphasised the importance of this policy shift, stating, “We are investing in vocational and on-the-job training ourselves. We also changed our migration policy; more than ever before, we are offering legal pathways to come to Germany to work there.”
The conference, organized by the delegation of Gemma and Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHK) in partnership with the Nigerian German Chamber of Commerce (NGCC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMVK), brought together key stakeholders from both countries.
Highlighting the significance of the event, Chancellor Scholz said, “The Nigerian-German partnership has grown stronger over the years, creating a multitude of opportunities for businesses in both countries. Nigeria is Germany’s second-largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, while Germany boasts the largest economic status in the Eurozone.”
Furthermore, Chancellor Scholz shared his vision for a more collaborative future, saying, “The story I would like to offer you blends Nigerian and German potential, a story of growth that is mutually beneficial, a story in which Africa and Europe choose a joint approach in fields such as energy, clean industrial development, green technology, vocational training, and legal migration.”
Also at the event, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, represented by Deputy Governor Femi Hamzat, acknowledged the state’s attractiveness for foreign investment.
“Lagos remains the top receiving state of foreign direct investment and domestic direct investments because investors have come to know how attractive it is to invest here with guaranteed good returns on their investment,” he said.
Speaking further, Hamzat said “Beyond the current offering in trade and investment, energy, environment, vocational training, and academic exchange, our government is prioritising investment from prospective German investors to areas such as building climate-resistant infrastructure, transportation, housing, health, agriculture, and other sectors. We are not only open and ready for business, we are also prepared to provide all the necessary policy support that will ensure businesses fully settle and take off smoothly in Lagos.”
Igbuan Okaisabor, President Of The Board Of Directors of the Nigerian-German Chamber of Commerce, underlined the importance of strengthening the bonds between Nigeria and Germany. He said “We are not just here to discuss business. We are here to strengthen the bonds between Nigeria and Germany, to facilitate trade, and to spark innovation that will drive our economies. This conference serves as a catalyst for building stronger and more prosperous relationships”