Nigeria has confirmed it wants to increase trade with Ireland, notably dairy imports which have risen significantly in recent years.
Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, attended talks with Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney, who is on a trade mission with 45 Irish firms this week in west Africa.
“On agri-food trade, we discussed the growing trade in exports from Ireland to Nigeria particularly dairy which alone is worth €140m last year, up 50% since 2010.
“We discussed how Nigeria can become a stronger base for Irish investment in the region. I look forward to visiting investments by leading companies such as Ornua and Kerry Group later in the week,” said Mr Coveney.
The trade mission features inputs from agri- food, education, financial, aviation, energy and ICT.
“The events in Abuja confirm our view there are strong opportunities in the Nigerian market for Irish companies in a number of key sectors including education, financial services, aviation, med-tech and oil and gas,” said Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon.
The mission will visit Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria, and Accra, Ghana. It will have 40 key events in the three cities. It is Ireland’s largest trade mission to west Africa in over 20 years.
“Our ambition is to reach export sales of €600m to the region by 2018 and we will continue to work with ambitious Irish companies to expand their market share in African countries, exploring and developing lucrative trading relationships, that ultimately deliver export-led job creation in Ireland,” said Ms Sinnamon.
Mr Coveney said expanding economies in west Africa provide fertile ground for Irish companies in the agri- food sector, and in fields like education, training, geoscience and engineering, financial services and technology. With combined populations of 200 million, Nigeria and Ghana have strong economic growth.
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