By Chioma Obinna
AS part of strategies for Nigeria to attain its projected growth by 2020 and tackle the high rate of youth’s unemployment, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has called for stronger trade relations between Nigeria and China in the area of agricultural investment.
According to Ortom, China being one of the world’s fastest growing economy with an estimated growth rate of about 10 percent in the past 30 years, investing in the country’s agriculture would provide Chinese investors the opportunity to tap from the potentials vested in the nation’s agricultural sector.
Speaking at the just- concluded China Trade Fair in Guangzhou City, Ortom posited that such investment, apart from boosting food security in Nigeria, would also enhance the economy of both countries.
“Investment, particularly, in the areas of importation of industrial raw materials for China and the exportation of same by Nigeria will enhance the economy of both countries.”
Assuring Chinese investors of enabling environment, the Minister noted that Nigeria is blessed with a lot of investment opportunities, regretting that out of the 88million arable land in the country, only about half is being utilised.
Ortom said the Federal and State governments were already working towards developing a sector-specific investment policy that would provide a level playing ground for genuine investors and necessary support and incentive that would make their business succeed when they invest.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Diamond Logistics Limited, Festus Mbisiogu, who was in China while lending his weight to the minister’s request, urged the Federal Government to address some of the factors affecting investment climate in Nigeria such as multiple taxation, epileptic power supply, lack of access roads and general infrastructural problem staring the nation in the face.
Maintaining that Nigerians in diaspora were also ready to come home and invest in agriculture and other sectors of the economy, he opined that involvement of these Nigerians would ensure the attainment of the present administration’s transformation agenda and the vision 20:2020.