President Muhammadu Buhari and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte have restated commitment towards improving bilateral ties between the two countries as well as improving direct investments.
Prime Minister Rutte, who was on a two-day working visit to Nigeria is leading a trade delegation of eight Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Dutch multinationals currently operating in Nigeria with huge investment portfolios in the agriculture, finance, oil and gas sectors.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting stated the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the respective Foreign Ministers in The Hague in July 2018.
”We welcome the steps that have been made to increase bilateral economic cooperation and are happy to see higher levels of bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments, ” the communiqué signed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Oji Ngofa and the Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy in Abuja, Ewout-Jan de Wit said.
”The contribution of Dutch private businesses, global players and small, micro and medium enterprises, to the Nigerian economy is duly noted.
”Investments by the Netherlands Investment Bank FMO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund are contributing to better access to finance and energy for the private sector.
”Nigeria confirms its commitment to continuing reforms for a conducive business and investment environment while the Netherlands pledges to continue assisting Nigeria for an increase in agricultural productivity especially horticulture, seed, and sustainable palm oil production,” it added.
President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte also reiterated their commitment to the fight against human trafficking, appreciating the close collaboration between both countries in supporting the victims.
Noting with concern the challenging security situation in the West-African sub-region and Nigeria, the Netherlands acknowledged the sustained efforts of Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and in countering violent extremism.
”The Netherlands will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, in particular women and girls, in order to mitigate the impact of insecurity and displacement,” the communiqué said.
After the bilateral consultations between delegations of both countries, President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on dairy chain development between Royal FrieslandCampina WAMCO and the Government of Niger State.
The MoU was signed by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, Roel van Neerbos.
The agreement on dairy chain development is expected to save Nigeria about $1.2 billion from milk importation annually.
Fielding questions on what the government of the Netherlands was specifically disposed to doing to support Nigeria in addressing the humanitarian situation in the north east, Prime Minister Rutte said both countries can work together to address the situation.
According to Roel van Neerbos, President, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, “This mission is an important step in strengthening our longstanding relationship with the Nigerian government. The collaboration aligns with our vision to provide better nutrition to the world with our Dairy Development Programme (DDP). FrieslandCampina enables the local dairy farmers, like in Nigeria, to run their businesses optimally and raise the quality and quantity of their dairy production via the DDP.”