Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government has called on the government and people of Norway to consider Nigeria an investment destination.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the call on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja, when he received in audience, Mr. Jens Frolich Holte, Norwegian State Secretary for International Development (Minister of Foreign Affairs).
Onyeama expressed the Federal Government’s appreciation to Norway for its excellent relations with Nigeria, adding that it was a relatioship the Buhari administration cherished so much.
He noted in particular, that the support Norway had given to Nigeria had been at the forefront in the humanitarian assistance to countries in the Lake Chad Basin.
Onyeama also recalled that two years ago, Nigeria was considered one of the four countries that were faced with imminent famine as a result of the insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin countries and the internally displaced and refugee population estimated at about 2.2 million.
The Minister said the development constituted a real danger that could have turned the zone into one of the big famine areas but that Norway really stepped up in a way that the government appreciated its enormously when it organised the Oslo conference which brought together, Germany, the United Nations and others.
He added that the result was outstanding as Norway mobilizsed billion dollars in pledges, even as he said the monies were received just as Norway was very much at the forefront in organising a follow-up conference which took place last year in Berlin.
“So, we cannot thank you enough for that. It really was a support and solidarity that has really made a profound impact to the lives of millions of people and I thank you very much indeed for that.
“But of course, we also cooperate in so many other areas and hoping very much to increase the level of trade between our two countries and we are very keen, as you know, we have gone through an economic recession and we have come out of that.
In his remarks, Holte said Norway and Nigeria have very broad relationship which the humanitarian assistance is a part of.
He said moving forward, both countries have a great business and economic relationship with over 70 Norwegian companies present in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
“Norway and Nigeria, I think we have had a trading relationship for many, many years, hundreds of years almost.
What we have recorded is, we had some of the first shipment of stock fish coming here in the 1880s,” Holte said.
Holte pledged further economic cooperation with Nigeria, particularly in the energy sector, saying that the demand for energy is going to grow.