Nigeria, Germany partner on SME growth

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Nigeria and Germany have agreed to strengthen collaboration to boost Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the country.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, said this during a bilateral meeting organised by the ministry and the German Ministry of Economic Development in Abuja.

Uzoka-Anite acknowledged the existing partnership between both countries and expressed optimism for a stronger tie that would foster a stronger mutually beneficial relationship.

“We are very happy to receive you here and as we already mentioned in the side meeting, you are interested in renewable energy, agriculture, and increasing access to finance for MSME.

“That will be a major booster for the industrial sector of the economy.

She noted that President Bola Tinubu was highly committed to ensuring that the economy turns around through job creation, poverty alleviation, inclusiveness, and renewables.

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“All of these years to increasing food, capital, investment in the country and boosting industrialisation,” she said.

According to the minister, to add more weight to the Federal Government’s commitment, the

President recently formed the Presidential Council on Industrial Revitalisation, which is chaired by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy.

Uzoka-Anite added, “In that, we have about 11-point agenda, where we are looking at all the different sectors of the economy and looking at how to revive the economy via all of these different sectors.

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“The MSMEs segment cuts across all of the sectors and we know that if we can improve the SMEs, we are immediately contributing about 45 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product.

“So, your coming to partner and support us in this development is a major booster to the presidential ambition to grow the economy to a one trillion economy.”

Responding, the German Minister, Ms Svenja Schulze, said Nigeria was one of the first

countries Germany partnered with as early as 1959 and that collaboration had deepened to the benefit of both countries.

“Our cooperation, I want to point out again, is in our common interest,” she said.

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In recent years, cooperation between Germany and Nigeria on economic issues has intensified.

Nigeria is Germany’s second-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. One priority of bilateral economic relations is cooperation in the energy sector.

The focus is on the rehabilitation and expansion of electricity production in Nigeria – particularly through renewable energies and improved energy efficiency – as well as greater participation by German companies in tapping energy sources in Nigeria.

The German-Nigerian energy partnership, which has been in place since 2008, was expanded in 2021 in line with the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy with the opening of a Hydrogen Office in Abuja.

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