Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has reiterated the need for a strong mechanism that would ensure the proper implementation of bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Cote-d’Ivoire in the interest of the citizens of the two countries.
He made the remark on Tuesday at a meeting with the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Kaplan Duncan, at his Plateau office in Abidjan, capital of the cocoa nation.
Sambo stated that implementation of similar bilateral agreements entered into in the past were hampered by the absence of a strong mechanism and urged all parties to these agreements to make concrete effort for the two countries to have an enduring platform that would set the momentum for the implementation of all bilateral agreements.
Sambo further stated that the Invest in Cote D’ Ivoire (ICI) Forum organised by the Cote D’Ivoire government would open a window of opportunities for Nigerian investors to explore the abundant opportunities for investments in the country as over 70 Nigerian businessmen are participating in the conference.
He, however, stressed the need for the establishment of necessary framework in the various sectors of the economy that would attract investments into the host country.
The Vice President related the Nigerian example of the cement industry where the Nigerian government established a strong framework to attract investment into the sector.
Before 2010, Nigeria imported about 90 per cent of her cement requirements and within two years from the establishment of the backward integration policy framework, the country became a net exporter of the product.
He added that similar framework had been established to stop the importation of sugar and rice into the country.
He stated that already, this framework had been yielding the desired results as currently, Nigeria produces about one million metric tonnes of rice per annum, which is expected to double before the end of the year and planned to stop the importation of the commodity by the end of 2015.
Speaking earlier, Duncan called for the implementation of all bilateral agreements entered into by the two countries.
He also called for the strengthening of relationship in the fields of mining, petroleum (upstream and downstream) sector and the highways.
Crucial bilateral issues were discussed at the meeting amongst which were bilateral air agreement, Oil and Gas, mining and highways.