The European Union and Nigeria on Monday agreed to facilitate EU investment flow into Nigeria.
Ambassador and Head of EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Michel Arion, made this known in Abuja at a political dialogue between a Nigerian delegation led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, and 20 representatives of EU’s member states in Nigeria.
Arion said: “I will say that what we can do is to facilitate the EU investment in Nigeria which will be absolutely key, not only at the level of bilateral relations but in other fora.”
He said that the meeting focused on Buhari’s three-point agenda of security, economy and corruption as well as others which include irregular migration and the humanitarian situation in the North East.
The envoy said that EU and Nigeria could work together for mutual benefits of both parties and enhance peace, security and economic cooperation.
He said: “We believe that our prosperity is your prosperity, we see West Africa as a block of ECOWAS and Nigeria as the big economy in the area.
“We see West Africa not as export designation for the EU but investment destination for EU, we don’t have hidden agenda.’’
Arion said that the meeting also focused on Buhari’s agenda on security and economy.
He said that the whole point was not on what the EU could do for Nigeria but what the EU and Nigeria could do together.
Arrion said: “I believe that there are a lot of things we can do together basically in two main areas; one is peace and security, and the other one is prosperity.
“We really believe that our security in the EU is your security; I believe we are fighting the same terrorists.
“The one we are fighting in West Africa may go to Europe and the one we are fighting in Europe may come to West Africa.
“We have common challenges and we can do much together in fighting terrorists and other criminals such as smugglers. We can work together that is for peace and security.”
Onyeama earlier said the political dialogue was a product of communiqué signed in 2016 between Nigeria and EU which focused on security, corruption, prosperity, migration and human development.
The minister appreciated the role the EU played in the democratisation of Nigeria and contribution to the nation’s development especially in the economic and security sectors, among others.
He stressed that Nigeria’s expectation from the dialogue would further advance the interest and deepen the business and trade relations particularly in the area of agriculture.
Onyeama said: “We are in the process of diversification of our economy. We are looking to an important trading partner and we naturally looked to the EU to explore trade opportunity for our country.
“The important thing in this context is the cost of value addition in processing; packaging and service are all very important elements all with a view to providing job opportunity to the teeming population of Nigerian youths.
“I will like to appeal to EU and other partners to consider increasing investment and also in other areas beyond the oil sector such as agriculture and mining.”