The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to France, Modupe Irele, on Monday disclosed that there were currently about 120 French businesses located in different parts of Nigeria.
Ms. Irele told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that Nigerians were also prepared to go into partnership with more French companies in adding value to Nigerian products.
“Nigeria is France’s largest trading partner in Africa. There are currently approximately about 120 French businesses that are active in Nigeria.
“And Nigerian businesses are increasingly seeking out those partnerships that would add value to the diversification drive, and improve the quality of non-oil exports.
“Nigerians want partnership in improving the quality of cocoa butter, fat and oil, frozen shrimps and prawns, ginger, sesame seeds, among others.
“The French, like many other business people, are showing interest in Nigeria’s drive to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria,’’ she said.
According to her, Nigeria currently remains France’s fifth-largest supplier of natural hydrocarbons and its leading supplier in sub-Saharan Africa.
She said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Paris during the One Planet Summit, had presented the opportunity for France and Nigeria to further strengthen their bilateral relations.
Ms. Irele said that the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was on the President’s entourage used the opportunity to meet with French officials on how to promote agricultural development in his state.
“The meeting was aimed at promoting the development of agriculture in the state.
“It was also to facilitate large-scale production of cash and food crops, especially tree species, used to produce the most exotic timber in Nigeria,’’ she said.