By Ikenna Uwadileke, Abuja.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Amb Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, says the annual bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and Japan now stands at one billion dollars.
Kazuyoshi said this at the 2nd Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council meeting on Friday in Abuja.
The first working group meeting of the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council (JNBFC) took place in Lagos in February 2020.
According to Kazuyoshi, the trade volume between Nigeria and Japan now stands at one billion dollars annually.
“The trade includes imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and agricultural products like sesame seeds from Nigeria.
“It also extends to exports of machines and cars from Japan to Nigeria,’’ he said.
The envoy added that 40 per cent of sesame seeds consumed in Japan were imported from Nigeria.
While emphasising the importance of the meeting, Kazuyoshi said that currently, 47 Japanese companies were operating in Nigeria.
He said that the meeting was critical in proffering solutions to some of the challenges the companies were facing with the Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), foreign exchange and logistics.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs Saratu Umar, urged other countries to emulate the Japanese model and develop such bilateral councils.
She said that the approach would deepen the existing trade and investment relationships between Nigeria and the respective countries.
“We have a good working relationship with the Japanese Embassy and will sustain such to ensure that we jointly work to provide succour to all Japanese companies doing business in Nigeria,” she said.
Umar noted that Nigeria established a similar platform called OSIC Lab, leveraging the existence of Ministries, Departments and Agencies under the One-Stop Investment Centre.
“The platform provides a one-stop solution in resolving investors’ challenges with government agencies.
“This, I believe, will complement the work we do at the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council,” she added.
Umar pleaded with Kazuyoshi to encourage more companies from Japan to take advantage of Nigeria’s economic potential and site their businesses in the country.