Nigeria and Germany have pledged to expand existing bilateral relations, as both countries take steps to improve trade and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) development.
The private Vanguard newspaper reported Wednesday that Nigeria’s Industry, Trade and Investment, Minister Olusegun Aganga confirmed this after a meeting with the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzkel, and the Country Director, German Cooperation (GIZ), Dr. Thomas Kirsch, in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
“The meeting with the German Ambassador, which dwelt on a number of growth issues, was a fruitful one, but specifically, today’s meeting focused on trade facilitation in terms of how we can partner to make it cheaper and quicker to export goods from Nigeria to other African countries by removing the barriers that impede trade.
”What the German government has done is to design an Information and Communications Technology system that will help improve the non-trade barriers, which cause delay in movement of goods and also the cost and time of doing business in Nigeria. So, we are collaborating on how we can improve trade facilitation within the region,” the minister said.
For her part, the German Ambassador said her country was ready to work with Nigeria to improve the ease of doing business and boost skills acquisition among the people.
“The basis of the meeting with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, was to find out how much Germany is doing in terms of partnering with Nigeria on trade issues. We discussed the Bi-National Commission which Nigeria has with Germany, focusing particularly on energy but also on economic issues as a whole.
“Germany is also partnering Nigeria on vocational training in order to boost industrial skills acquisition and bridge skills gap in Nigeria. Most times, people don’t get the jobs because they lack the skills even when the jobs are there. We want more Nigerians to be trained so that they can use their skills to work.
”We also discussed specific projects that the German International Company for Co-operation in Nigeria is doing. We have looked at some businesses coming up which will be focusing on the informal sector of the Nigerian economy,” the Ambassador said.
Nigeria has a long-standing and strong economic and trade relationship with Germany. Both countries share similarities and are big players in their economic blocs.
While Nigeria is the largest economy in the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Germany has the largest economy in the European Union (EU).