By Dipo Olowookere
A group of individuals have keyed into the Federal Government’s agenda to diversify the economy away from oil.
To set the ball rolling, this group has concluded plans to organise a summit in Canada in November 2016 tagged ‘Canada-Nigeria Synergy for Improving Bilateral Trade, Investment and Partnership Opportunities in the new Nigeria’, with the hope of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for Nigeria.
At a press conference at the weekend, members of the organising team including Mr Wale Adesanya, who also doubles as the President of Etcetera International Interactive Limited, Mr Bode Thompson, President, JMT Integrated Limited and Prince Akinwale Ojo, Chief Engagement Officer/CEO, Diaspora Innovation Institute, disclosed that ‘Canibus 2016’ will help to galvanise the much sought after foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
Justifying the need for the summit, which is scheduled to hold from Nov 2-5 at the International Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the organisers said the Canada/Nigeria intergovernmental business summit is timely especially at this point in time the government is determined to develop new streams of income to boost its revenue much of which has been eroded by the dwindling oil receipts due to falling oil prices around the globe.
“The primary aim is to attract investors in the key areas of power, agriculture, solid minerals, ICT, oil and gas, transportation and housing,” they said.
“What informed the whole idea of Canibus 2016 is the need to help the country achieve its optimum in terms of boosting non-oil sector. Canada is the better in mining and other sectors compared to other parts of the world.”
The summit, the organisers noted, is specifically targeted at Nigerian private sector businesses, especially the organised private sector as well as the small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
“We hope to take Nigerian business entities to Canada so that they can forge a synergy of cooperation with their counterparts over there and see how that can mutually affect businesses across the board.
“Hopefully, we think at the end of the summit, fresh pool of investors will come into the country through our efforts. In choosing the target areas we considered the specific sectors where Canada has comparative advantage over Nigeria.”
Pressed further, the group emphasised that, “A lot of our potentials are yet untapped and we hope that the would-be investors from Canada will be persuaded to come and invest in the country if they hear from those companies already domiciled here. We want to be able to market Nigeria to prospective investors out there in Canada.”
The summit which is being organised in partnership with the the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission has also received the nod of the Deputy High Commission in Nigeria and Nigeria High Commission in Canada among other stakeholders.