Friday, March 25, 2016 12:57 am
The Federal Government plans to establish `one-stop shop’ for Nigerian businessmen in 119 countries where Nigeria has foreign missions, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffery Onyeama, has said.
The minister made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja while briefing newsmen.
He said that the ministry was embarking on the economic diplomacy as a framework to address the severe economic challenges facing the country.
“We have to look at concrete time bound deliverables that the ministry could make; we are faced with severe economic challenges and what can the ministry do? We have identified two areas where we feel we have comparative advantage and we can leverage on that for the benefit of Nigeria.
“We have started with two initiatives: to enhance free movement within Africa and establish a data base for businessmen in all the countries where Nigeria has representatives.
Onyeama said that Nigeria had representations in 119 countries and the ministry could leverage on that to deliver concrete economic benefit to the nation.
“we are proposing to develop data base where any Nigerian businessman can upload information about themselves, businesses and what they want to sell to the world. We would have that uploaded which would be accessible in all those countries.
“We would have an officer in each country whose task will be to go into the data base to see whose products or services that could have market access in that particular country. What we are trying to do is to have one-stop shop for Nigerian businessmen to have market access into all the 119 countries where we have representatives.
“This will save them from going through all kinds of bottlenecks and paying all kinds of fees.’’
Onyeama said that his ministry was also looking at how to utilize the same method to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria.
He said that Nigerians in the Diaspora would also be able to utilise the data base to search for partners in Nigeria and other countries.
The minister said that the second initiative was to explore business opportunities in Africa by enhancing free movement within the continent.
He expressed concern that the level of trade within Africa was low and stressed the need for economic diversification to expand the country’s trade relations.
“To promote our economic relations we are looking at strategies targeted at a number of countries in Africa. We want to have with those countries agreement either collectively or individually to have free movement of goods and people.
“That will enlarge economic space for Nigerian businessmen to visit those countries to explore business opportunities,’’ he said.