Nigeria’s Trade In Texas Hits $1.6bn-Ngige

By Miriam Humbe

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Dr. Evelyn Ngige on Monday, said that Nigeria was Houston’s 41st largest trading partner with trade averaging $1.6 billion.

The Perm Sec said this when she hosted the Mayor of Houston, Texas, in the United States of America, Mr. Sylvester Turner, at the Ministry.

The Mayor and his delegation were in the Ministry to discuss areas of mutual interest between Nigeria and the USA, most especially Nigeria’s economic relations with the City of Houston, Texas.

The engagement was expected to further strengthen the existing cordial bilateral trade and investment relations between Nigeria and the United States of America.

Recall that Nigeria recently conducted her general elections and ushered in a brand-new administration.

Ngige said the change in governments was centered on Security; Economy; Agriculture; Power; Oil & Gas; Transportation; Education; Healthcare; Digital Economy; Sport and Entertainment; Youth and Women Empowerment and Foreign Policy.

She said: “At the level of the Ministry, we are in still in the transition period and await the appointment of the cabinet Ministers. However, the show must go on.

“I trust you are aware that Nigeria is one of the United States’s largest trading partners and was the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Ngige said this relationship culminated into massive inflow of Foreign Direct Investment to Nigeria and there are Nigerian companies and professionals doing business in the USA.

In a remark, Director Trade in the Ministry, Suleman Audu said that Nigeria and the USA had been traditional trading partners for a longtime.

He said the cordial relations between both countries were deep rooted and underpinned by a history of cooperation in international fora such as World Trade Organization (WTO), where both countries are members.

Audi said: “On the other hand, Nigeria and Houston, enjoy great economic ties, especially in the oil and gas sector with annual trade volume of over $15 billion.

“We may all agree that the level of Nigeria-U.S.A. bilateral trading activities, is centered around Oil & Gas, particularly Nigeria’s export to U.S.A.

“The need therefore, to accelerate the growth of non-oil trade between the two countries cannot be over emphasized.”

He said that Nigeria was not only endowed with enormous human and material recourses, but was currently the fastest growing economy in Africa, thereby making it an investment destination.

The Director said: “I am happy to inform you that very recently, Nigeria launched the National Trade Policy 2023-2027 and the National Investment Policy 2023-2027, which aims to provide guidance, promote and facilitate Trade and Investment in Nigeria.

“Furthermore, the present administration is mapping out some strategies geared towards promotion of trade and investment in Nigeria.”

He appreciated the US delegation led by the Mayor of Houston for his commitment and sustained efforts towards enhancing trade and investment activities between the City of Houston and Sub-Saharan African Countries.

Audi said: “This working visit is an indication of your dedication towards building and strengthening economic ties with Nigeria.”

It was hoped that the visit would substantially enhance the bilateral trade and investment relations between Nigeria and Houston, particularly in the non-oil sector and also attract reciprocal higher level of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

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