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France keen on improving agro-relations with Nigeria 

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France is keen on improving trade relationship with Nigeria on agricultural exports, according to its Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Olivier Becht.

Becht made the position known during the launch of the Food for Nations digital trade platform which is a brainchild of JR Farms designed to help players within the agribusiness value chain gain access to the French market and the rest of Europe via trade.

In his welcome speech, Becht expressed confidence that the platform’s launch would greatly enhance trade relations between France and Nigeria in the agribusiness sector.

He said, “This platform marks a significant milestone in the ties between France and Nigeria. The agri-food industry stands as a beacon for cooperation between our two great nations.

“France, with its culinary heritage and its advanced technical know-how plays a pivotal role in harnessing the quality and diversity of food in the Nigerian market.”

Olawale Rotimi, the CEO of JR Farms, characterised the occasion as a celebration of collaborations that hadn’t led to expansion. He announced that the company had partnered with two French businesses to provide best agribusiness practises training to a chosen cohort.

Rotimi expressed hope that the Food for Nations platform would help Nigeria get access to the European market and mentioned that JR Farms and Air France are currently negotiating to launch Nigeria’s first food cargo.

He said, “We want to collaborate with Nigeria and Africa.  Already, we have these collaborations happening. Where we are seated here today is a product of collaboration. We want more of these collaborations and economic ties between Nigeria and France.

“With the registration code of JR Farms in France, we are also planning together with the Africa office, to acquire some farmlands in France. We are in that process at the moment. France is already exporting a lot of grain to North Africa, why not West Africa? We are also looking at commodities here that we can move to France.”

With oil and gas at the core of the economic relationship, Nigeria has been France’s top trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and its fourth-largest trading partner overall, behind Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.

Nigeria’s primary exports to France are natural hydrocarbons and other products of the extractive industries. French companies are also involved in the oil industry; in 2018, Total, a major French oil company started producing oil at a 200,000-barrel-per-day facility on the Egina platform.

Musings From Abroad

US keen on expanding bilateral trade with Nigeria

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According to the US Consulate in Nigeria, it is looking for ways to guarantee prosperity for Nigeria by increasing bilateral trade and investment.

 

The Consulate, in a statement, maintained it was looking for ways to develop bilateral investment and trade as well as guarantee prosperity between the US and Nigeria.

 

Mike Ervin, the chief of the Political and Economic Section of the US Consulate in Lagos made this statement on Wednesday during a working visit to the governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, on Wednesday,

 

He noted that the consulate covers the 17 southern states of Nigeria; hence its mission “to expand bilateral trade and investment and ensure prosperity between the United States and Nigeria”.

 

“In the US consulate in Lagos, we cover the 17 southern states and our top job more than any other is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people.

 

“Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkin, in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago, where he spoke eloquently and strongly on the significance and importance of US-Nigeria bilateral relationship. And our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people,” he stated.

 

The petroleum/mining and wholesale trade industries account for the majority of foreign direct investment from the United States, which is the country that invests in Nigeria the most. The value of goods traded both ways in 2022 between the US and Nigeria exceeded $8.1 billion.

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Musings From Abroad

UN sanctions six Congolese rebels over crisis in its eastern region

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Six members of five armed organisations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council as violence between the Congolese army and M23 Tutsi-led rebels, who are backed by Rwanda, has escalated.

 

The fighting in this decades-long battle has made it more likely that Rwanda and Congo could go to war, which might draw in armies from nearby countries like South Africa, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi.

 

The Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, told a meeting of the 15-member Security Council that “The United States firmly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and lasting peace for all Congolese people. Rwanda and the DRC must walk back from the brink of war.”

A travel ban, asset freeze, and arms embargo were placed on two leaders of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), one commander of the Twirwaneho armed organisation, and one leader of the National People’s Coalition for the Sovereignty of Congo (CNPSC) rebels by the Security Council’s DRC sanctions committee.

The military spokesman for the M23 Tutsi-led rebels, allegedly backed by Rwanda, and a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), an organisation started by Hutus who left Rwanda after participating in the 1994 genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were also placed on the UN list.

“These individuals are responsible for numerous abuses,” Wood said of the six sanctioned individuals.

After replacing a previous U.N. operation in 2010 to aid in reducing insecurity in the country’s east, Congo has been home to a UN peacekeeping force known as MONUSCO for more than 13 years.

Felix Tshisekedi, the president of the Congo, requested in September that the peacekeepers’ withdrawal be expedited, and the UN Security Council granted his request, allowing the deployment to terminate in December.

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