German-Nigerian Business Forum: Diversity, Recommended Trainings to Deepen Business Relations | The Guardian Nigeria News

To improve bilateral trade relations between Germany and Nigeria, constant training has been emphasized. This is the result of the ninth edition of the German-Nigeria Business Forum held in Lagos.

German Industry and Commerce Delegate in Nigeria Katharina Felgenhauer said the forum was created to facilitate trade relations between Nigeria and German companies.

She added that the two countries have maintained strong trade relations over the years, however adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected this due to supply chain disruptions, travel restrictions and the economic downturn. general.

“Nigeria is coming back strong, so we are here to accompany this process and ensure that German trading partners participate and support the return,” she said. She noted that the delegation of German industry in Nigeria is supported by the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and others. Although the partnership is used to promote specific sectors in Nigeria, particularly renewable energy, green hydrogen, secular economy and water management, it is also involved in agricultural affairs, food processing. , packaging and logistics as well as for technical and vocational training.

“We have dedicated competent centers to focus on these sectors and the last one is innovation and start-ups. We have built market expertise and provided dedicated services to German and Nigerian companies to promote innovation and economic progress in these areas. said Felgenhauer.

Acting German Consul General Bernd Von Munchow-Pohl said Germany’s relationship with Nigeria is focused on direct investment, the supply of technology and machinery, through the transfer of knowledge and technology.

He, however, urged Nigerians to increase and multiply their non-oil exports to Germany, as petroleum products currently dominate around 70 percent of Nigeria’s exports. According to him, Nigeria has the potential to diversify and develop its economy but will require favorable investments and policies to provide a conducive environment for exporters.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, referring to the collapse of the Ikoyi building, called on the university sector to use available funds, grants and other financial aid to modernize its facilities to provide students with a first-hand practical experience in the respective disciplines both in and after school.

He suggested a minimum of one year of compulsory practical training for civil engineering students / graduate trainees in order to receive practical experience specifically on construction sites.

Fashola said: “We need to fine-tune our training programs for professionals in the construction industry. Civil engineering internship and other students should be sent to construction sites and not to construction companies, where they could have practical experience of their trade.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by Lagos State Office on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Special Advisor, Ms. Solape Hammond, reiterated the government’s commitment to the state as Africa’s preferred investment center thanks to sound policies.

“It is imperative that we ensure that the operating environment for business in Lagos remains attractive to promote accelerated growth and development,” he said.
According to him, Lagos is one of the states contributing to the Ease of Doing Business Index, given the huge investment required to make the best use of its socio-economic resources, which is Africa’s fifth-largest economy. .

He added that Lagos created the Office of Sustainable Development Goals to serve as an interface between government agencies and existing potential investors, which would serve as a single center facilitating many interventions for interested investors.

Sanwo-Olu also commended the forum for the emphasis on technical vocational education and training, which is essential for capacity building for optimal and appropriate exploitation of opportunities in various sectors.

Participants and speakers at the event lamented outdated knowledge, plant and machinery, skills gaps, lack of opportunities in most sectors, especially the technical sub-sector of the economy.

These experts argued that the lack of in-depth knowledge of current trends in different sectors of the economy, orchestrated by the lack of business training, has caused colossal damage to life and property, as evidenced by the recent collapse of ‘a building in Lagos.

They called for a comprehensive overhaul and disciplinary action as a system of accountability in every sector with the aim of eliminating charlatans. Speaking at the forum, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Acting Executive Secretary Emeka Offor, represented by Commission Policy Advocacy Director John Oseji, said NIPC has strategies and initiatives to attract investment in identified national sectors of the economy to enable the country to benefit from the immense opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

He also said that the commission has identified and target 20 strategic countries to attract investment in the economy, noting that Germany is one of those strategic countries and urged German investors to invest in Nigeria to take advantage of the greater market and access provided. by the country to the ECOWAS sub-regional market.

The forum focused on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), energy and environment, construction, finance, sustainability, food security, agribusiness and others . The sponsors of the event were Julius Berger, Construction Kaiser, GEA, Siemens Energy, Lagos Free Zone, VDMA, Access bank, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Arla, Deutsche Bank, KFW, among others.

James R. Rhodes