The French Government is to initiate a three point five billion Euro initiative fund to improve her economic relations in Africa
French Minister of Foreign Trade Mr. Franck Reister stated this after a meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum in Abuja.
The objective of the two days meeting by the Minister is to strengthen the bilateral relations of France and Africa with Nigeria as the major partner on the continent.
The visit follows the priorities set by the French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his willingness to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and France.
The French Minister of Foreign trade said Nigeria is her first commercial partner in sub-saharan Africa with a bilateral trade of 4.5 billion dollars in 2019 which has reduced to 2.3 billion dollars due to covid 19 pandermic.
Mr. Riester explained that the collaborations would be in private and public sectors through the French Development Agencies. “I wish to thank the Governors for taking their time to share their time with me. The collaboration will be on health, energy and other key areas the would promote the economy. Nigeria is indeed the first commercial partner in Africa with a bilateral trade of 4.5 billion dollars in 2019 but has reduce to 2.3 billion in 2020 due to covid 19 panermic.” He explained.
The French Minister expressed the determination of France to increase their investments in Nigeria by providing two billion dollar loans to finance the private and public sectors of the economy in Nigeria.
The meeting which was presided by the Chairman Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong commended the French Government for the collaboration.
On the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria JUSUN, Governor Lalong explained that Governors are not against the financial autonomy of the Judiciary but certain procedures must be put in place.
The Governors will be meeting with the official of JUSUN tomorrow to express their position on the issue.