By Kunle Adedoyin
Mrs Laurence Monmayrant, Consul General of France, in Lagos, has advised that Nigeria should improve on sectors like power, road and other infrastructure to make Nigeria a better place for businesses to thrive.
Monmayrant, who commended the’
=]9h;l Nigerian government for reforms carried out by the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBC), said the country’s progression in the latest ease of doing business ranking is a good sign; adding that French companies are more willing to do business in Nigeria, whether for expectations or for investments.
Monmayrant said France-Nigeria relations have improved over the years, as Nigeria is the number one trade partner of France within the sub-Saharan African region, with trade figure of over €4 billion in 2018 from about €3.6 billion in 2017.
“We expect that 2019 would account for more as French companies continue to show interest in the Nigerian economy. The economic actors, which are Business France, AFD Propaco, FNCCI, the Economic section of the embassy have continued to engage and promote the Nigeria France relationship.”
She said the French Development Agency (AFD), since 2010, when it was setup in Nigeria, has financed over 30 projects with €1.5 billion in commitment, adding that President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Nigeria in 2018, further reinforces the very strong bilateral relationship between both countries.
“Let me state that the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF), who ranks today as the largest employer federation in France, will have a delegation visit Nigeria in the first week of December. The delegation will meet with key government functionaries and regulators in Nigeria with an objective to further promote Nigeria France business relationship.
“While we look at the growth of the France-Nigerian business relationship, you would agree with me that there is a lot to celebrate. That, I believe is the fundamental objective of the French week celebration holding in Lagos. This epic celebration will bring together business figures from France and Nigeria in an atmosphere at networking and business exchanges. I strongly believe the event will further enhance the relationship between France and Nigeria, as we are on the path to greater economic prosperity.
Jan Gwenole, Economic Counsellor, French Embassy, said France investments in Nigeria are worth about €9.4billion, saying that Nigeria is the second destination for French companies behind Morocco.”
“Nigeria is now the 23rd destination for French investment worldwide. It’s very interesting to mention that Nigeria is behind Hong Kong, and ahead of countries like Singapore or Canada, which deserve to be mentioned. We have today in Nigeria, more than 130 French companies locally-based, which is twice more than compared to 10 years ago, many of them are working on the strategic projects contributing to Nigeria infrastructure development and economic growth.
“As you know, in Africa, especially Nigeria, the migration to big cities is more and more important. Lagos for instance will probably be the first or the second most populated city in the world in 2050. So there is an urgent need to make the extension of the city more sustainable,” he said.
Eric Jeanneau, Chairman, Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), said the chamber is currently ranked as one of the most vibrant and dynamic bilateral business ecosystem in Nigeria.
This, he said, is premised on the fact that FNCCI work hand-in-hand with the economic department of the French Embassy, and in close partnership with France to help French companies establish in Nigeria.