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Insecurity: French Businesses Scared of Visiting Nigeria – Ambassador

Nigerian Ambassador to France, Modupe Irele, has said French companies are scared of visiting Nigeria to ply their trade.

Irele, however, said the story changed having visited the country and moved about freely without any security challenge.

The envoy said this during the Nigeria-France Business and Investment Forum held in Abuja, yesterday, which had 27 French companies in attendance.

She said the trade mission was as a result of the two years she spent in France where very many French companies came to the embassy, and asked to know a little bit about Nigeria.

Irele added that the companies wanted to know what the business opportunities were in Nigeria, how they could meet serious people, whether it would be safe to come to Nigeria, what do they have to do with NAFDAC and what it entailed to set up a company in the country.

“There were so many questions that they were asking. So, it became very clear that if I have to give answers that were meaningful, especially given the tone and the nature of the questions, the best way would be to bring them here to Nigeria so that they could see for themselves, see the layout of the country and also get to meet the people who are instrumental in laying the policies and the procedures and just navigating the policy context of Nigerian businesses.

“Furthermore, a lot of the French companies and representatives seems to be tentative about coming to Nigeria because they heard that there was a lot of insecurity, how are they going to settle down, can they move around without an escort, do I need to go in a bullet proof car and so on and so forth.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Edet Akpan, said the investment forum was timely, given the fact that the Federal Government had created the platform for investment in the country desirous of deepening relations with governments and peoples around the world, with France in particular.

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