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Canada’s Cooter: I Don’t Think There is a Threat to Investment in Nigeria

Photo of Chris Cooter, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Courtesy The Guardian Nigeria
Chris Cooter,
Canadian High Commissioner
to Nigeria

Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Speaks about the State of Nigeria With Optimism

Chris Cooter, Canada’s High Commissioner to Nigeria spoke during a recent visit to Edo State. During his speech, Mr Cooter gave an overview of Canada’s opinion on the state of Nigeria. He celebrated Nigeria’s return to democracy after the fall of the Abacha dictatorship and spoke of his hopes for improvements in Nigeria’s record on human rights.

Whilst discussing Nigeria’s economy, Mr Cooter was optimistic, but stressed the need for diversification. He also identified where Nigeria should concentrate to ensure continued growth.

There are a number of challenges. Having been in this country for three years now, I will say among the challenges are three Es, employment, electricity and equity.

On increasing the level of employment in the country, he said…

The problem isn’t employment; the problem is the skill to meet that employment. You’ve got employers, you’ve got governments saying ‘look, we‘ve got these works, you’ve got works booming but many don’t have the skills required. Very few have the skills that allow them take advantage of the opportunities.

He also discussed the state of investment in Nigeria and expressed his pleasure at completing the Foreign Investment Protection Agreement which ensures Canadian investment in Nigeria will be protected. A welcome arrangement in a area that many western countries are afraid to conduct business.

That agreement provides insurance to companies that are going to invest here in a big way that there investment will be protected on the face value. I don’t think there is a threat to investment in Nigeria anyway, but it provides a signal for companies that are used to working in many countries around the world that there is a safe investment environment here and that is an important step.

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