The Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, has expressed the readiness of his country to deepen its ties in Nigeria, especially in the oil and gas sector.
Speaking at a stakeholder’s meeting to promote investment opportunities and incentives for Nigerian investors in Norway on Thursday, the diplomat advised the Federal Government to tackle insecurity.
Norway is an oil-producing nation with similar production capacities like Nigeria.
“You need to have renewable energy take root in this country, you need to have the incentive, not disincentives. The sector needs to be well regulated, organised and you have to attract investors,” he said.
“There is still a huge hydropower potential in Nigeria; we seem to have forgotten about that. We also have solar and wind power but the wind power cannot thrive because of insecurity.
“You cannot have wind power in the Gulf of Guinea if pirates are threatening ships. So it is about incentives and providing security.
“This is why we brought some of the most important business actors from Norway, Innovation Norway, Nigerian Norwegian Chambers of Commerce, our new Consul General and the embassy-to get together as strong as possible to show what can be done in trade between both countries.”
He said the trade receipt between the two countries currently stands at $30 billion.
On his part, Taofik Adegbite, the new Norway consul general to Nigeria and CEO of Marine Platforms, said the Federal Government needs to provide support for private sector players to unlock greater opportunities in the maritime sector; and strengthen the environment for businesses and bilateral relationships to get stronger.
“There is a lot for both Norway and Nigeria to benefit from each other as trade allies with long history of engagement. But more can be achieved within an environment that is very conducive for Nigeria’s foreign partners and allies to operate”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Nigerian Norwegian Chambers of Commerce (NNCC), Chijioke Igwe, urged Nigeria to learn from Norway, which has been able to grow businesses despite their very tough environment.
Nigeria is Norway’s largest trade partner in Africa and the country has sustained trade relations with Nigeria long before Nigeria’s independence in 1960.