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Olusegun Aganga, Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment
Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Government to facilitate the growth and development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Bature Masari, Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), and Viginie Poncet, head of the Banque Publique d’Investisement (BPI France), signed on behalf of the Nigerian and French governments respectively. Nigeria’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, and his French counterpart, Mrs. Nicole Bricq, were also present at the signing. On the new partnership, Aganga said, it is “creating a working group that would organise a skills transfer from BPI France to SMEDAN, in addition to sharing BPI France’s model and best practices learned from a long history of SME growth support.” “The working group could share information on the whole scope of intervention of BPI France’s financing innovation (through state and regions budget allocations) in the form of subsidies and repayable advances, this is also in addition to sharing the methods and technical constraints to deliver these aids for the best economic efficiency.” “Trade relations between the two countries had grown from N550billion in 2008 to about N1trillion in 2012.” In her reply, Bricq said, “We want to increase the number of French companies that will invest in Nigeria by 50 per cent within the next few years. We want to assure Nigerians that France is ready and willing to put its financial resources behind this initiative to make it work.”

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This article was first published on 17th September 2013

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