Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, has told investors in Spain to take advantage of Nigeria’s tax-free environment and limitless expatriate quota at the nation’s Free Trade Zones to boost Nigeria-Spain trade and economic opportunities.
The Nigerian leader gave the charge at a Business Forum jointly organized by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the Nigerian Ministry of Trade, and the Confederation of Employers (CEOE) in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday.
According to him, for quite a number of decades, Spain has been one of Nigeria’s most important trading partners.
The Nigerian leader noted that the country had been a major importer of Nigerian crude oil, emphasising that Nigeria’s exports to Spain stood at $4.8billion in 2020 whilst Spain’s exports to Nigeria increased from $97.2 million in 1995 to $517million in 2020.
He, however, maintained that a lot more could be done to increase the volume of trade.
According to the president, the business forum presents a good opportunity to explore how this can be achieved despite the current challenging time for the global economy.
We are open to widening collaboration with Spain and in order to encourage private capital inflow, we have put together fiscal investment incentives which include the following:
Three to five years tax holidays for enterprises in what we deem to be pioneer industries; tax-free operations and no restrictions on expatriate quotas in our Free Trade Zones;
Capital allowances for agriculture, manufacturing and engineering amongst others.
Going into partnerships with trusted local and foreign partners who have well-established networks and understand the dynamics of the economy and country is one of the identified keys to success in Nigeria.
Today provides a platform for Spanish businesses to connect with credible Nigerian partners.
I trust that all here present will build relationships that will translate into increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and Spain.
Buhari also advocated for increased collaboration between African nations and Europe to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges arising from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
But I have always held the strong conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity and solution.
Increased collaboration with African nations could well be what Europe needs to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges and improve both our economic opportunities.
Historically, the focus has been on Nigeria’s oil sector but Nigeria is home to a wide range of other sectors that hold very great potentials.
We are the largest economy in Africa and our well over 200 million-strong consumer market is home to a range of attractive opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, light manufacturing, infrastructure development and technology.
According to him, Nigeria has a number of other notable mineral resources including coal, gold, bitumen, iron ore and uranium.
However, our current focus is on adding value to our natural resources prior to exportation.
On his administration’s efforts to move beyond the historical dependence on crude oil for government revenue and foreign exchange inflows, the president said it had successfully driven its diversification and put the economy on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth through an open, rules-based and market-oriented way of doing business.
He used the opportunity of the meeting to thank the Spanish government for the donation of 4.4 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to Nigeria.
This is an example of being your brother’s keeper and in that same spirit of brotherhood I would like to assure you of our administration’s continuous commitment and determination to collaborate on issues of collective concern like security, health and our shared prosperity.
In her speech, the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said Nigeria had become Spain’s strategic trade partner in the last five years, adding that Spain was Nigeria’s second-largest foreign trade destination.