The new Norway Consul General to Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer of Marine Platforms, Taofik Adegbite, has predicted that Nigeria, Norway trade volume currently in the region of $30 billion (N10.8 trillion) will hit $60 billion in a few years when the country’s investment in maritime, fisheries would yield results and its oil major Equinol E&P starts production.
Adegbite stated this in a chat with THISDAY to outline his plans as the new Norway consul general to Nigeria.
On his immediate and long-term plans, he said he wants to see how both countries can both co-create value, which will stand the test of time.
Doing so, he stated, will help bring advantages of Norway in several sectors into Nigeria, traditionally in Nigeria’s oil and gas space, maritime and other sectors.
He said: “By the time Equinol goes into production, the volume of trade between both countries will be sky high. What we have to do now is to expand the basket of sectors for investment. For example, renewable energy, this is new and just coming up in Nigeria. We are also looking at going into aquaculture space such as fisheries, maritime and also vessel ownership and ship building in Nigeria. Most interestingly, as we are seeing today, there loads of Norwegian ships now been chartered by Nigerians than more than before. So, honestly speaking we can see the volume of trade between both countries doubling.
“That will be amazing especially because Norway is a country that has a lot to offer. Beyond all these that I have highlighted it is important we have to start looking at our cultural ties and exchange programmes. These are things that we equally want to look into, to promote Nigerian culture out there and you will be so amazed that a lot of Nigerians are very popular in Oslo. We have a lot of Nigerian culture and tradition to export so that we can arouse that curiosity of Norwegian of the Nigerian culture, heritage and art.
“Then on the flip side to make Norway that tourist destination for Nigerians because there are a lot of fantastic places to visit in that country. We want that cultural linkages in tourism to create awareness that Nigeria is not just, as perceived in the world that African enclave where it is all dark and bad. We want to see Norwegians traveling to explore and see the beauty of the country and Nigerians too in return.”
The execution strategy, he added, will now be how to do sectoral linkages, pair-to-pair introductions.
“We are working on the fisheries sector and Equinol the Norwegian major exploration and production (E&P) has preference in Nigeria and is trying to do more in that space. The company is equally looking at another potential, looking at being an operator in Nigeria’s oil and gas space. When we look at the oil service space, there is a lot of Norwegian service companies backing Nigerian service companies. Our concern now is how we can now formalize that, how do we identify and evaluate that so that we can see areas of improvement. In the area of local content how do we make the Norwegians who have done it successfully to now do a kind of linkage where there would be commonwealth creation,” he said.