Nigeria and Germany on Friday signed two Memoranda of Understanding in agriculture and commerce as part of the visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel to Nigeria.
The first agreement was signed between the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA and the German-Africa Business Association.
The First Deputy National President of NACCIMA, Hajia Saratu Iya Abubakar, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Dr. Stefan Liebing, of German Africa Business Association, signed on behalf of the German Business Delegation.
The second agreement was signed between the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, and the PETKUS Technologie GmbH, a company that specializes in post-harvest agricultural value chain.
While the Managing Director of NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhameed, signed on behalf of Nigeria, the representative of PETKUS Technologie GmbH, Peter Huser, signed for the Germans.
Speaking after signing the MOUs, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the agreements would increase the collaboration between Nigeria and Germany in the two areas.
Enelamah said the agreements would also leverage small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.
He said: “We want our SMEs to learn from the German Experience and be as important. The other area of German excellence is the technical area; technical education, technical training and technical development. It’s also an area of great interest to Nigeria.
“We are also working with Germany in the automobile sector because that’s also an area where Germany is a leader and Nigeria clearly has a policy to be a leader in the auto sector in West Africa and Africa.”
He said all these would require high levels of engagement, collaboration and communication to be actualized.
Also speaking, Abdulhameed said the MOU signed between NIRSAL and PETKUS was borne out of the realization of the opportunities that exist for investments in the Nigerian agricultural sector under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He said: “Under the current administration and the present agricultural promotion policy of this government, there are ample opportunities for investors, in terms of technology and capital, to come to Nigeria and to invest in the agricultural sector.
“NIRSAL provides the risking environment and mechanisms to enable investors like PETKUS to come to Nigeria and do their business.”
According to him, the agreement would go a long way in reducing the 51.3metric tons of aggregate food production, equivalent of about US$9 billion, which the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, report says Nigeria loses annually.
He said PETKUS, which specializes in the post harvest segment of the agricultural value chain, would bring its expertise to bear on post harvest productions in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Huser said the interest of his company was to help small farmers boost their yield.
“We are not talking about big investments; we are talking about small holder farmers, where we like to help them to boost their yield, to get better yield; we are talking about plant production, we are talking about fertilization.”
He said each machine supplied by PETKUS Technologie would provide employment and improve income for five persons and their families.
“We are talking today not about one machine; we are talking about one thousand machines and you can imagine the value this can bring into the agricultural sector,” Huser said.
He said the agreement was a step further in the interest of his company in Nigeria.