Mr Nicolas Simard, Acting High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, says Nigeria is the second largest trading partner of Canada in Africa.
Simard stated this while addressing newsmen in commemoration of the 2021 Canadian National Day on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the strong relationship between both countries cuts across all sectors; in diplomacy, trade, development, humanitarian assistance among others.
Simard said that the excellent trade relations has seen a boost as Nigeria has become its second trading partner in the continent after South Africa.
“Canada and Nigeria have excellent bilateral relations; we have relationship that dates back to 1960 after independence.
“We have about 1.4 billion dollars of trade exchange last year, so that is a very significant amount.
“And of course there is the oil sector that accounts for a big part of that, and also the food industry, in terms of import from Canada to Nigeria, it is also the processed food.
“In terms of export from Canada to Nigeria, we have Aircrafts, Vessels, Cars, Manufacturers, so it is a very strong relations and we would like to do more”, Simard said.
Simard, however noted that not much has been explored in the partnership in the areas of climate change, renewable energy, and clean technology.
He added that Canada has a lot of expertise in those areas which could be transferred and impacted in Nigeria considering the power challenge in Nigeria.
The envoy noted that once the challenge of power is effectively addressed in Nigeria, it would attract more investors to the country.
“We have a lot of expertise in these areas in Canada. In Montreal, most of our electricity comes from hydro power and we have a lot of expertise in solar power.
“There is also Canadian Company in Nigeria, EM-ONE that is very engaged in providing solar energy in Nigeria.
“ I see the challenge of access to energy and how can you do business if you do not have access to energy,“`he said.
He said that both countries could expand much more to bringing Canadian expertise and technology to Nigeria.
Simard also commended the people-to people relations between Canada and Nigeria, noting that there are more than 55,000 Canadians of Nigerian origin and still growing.
He added that the education sector is another area that has fostered the people-to people ties between both countries with over12, 000 Nigerian students coming to study in Canada.
“There is a big appetite for Canadian Universities, Canadian Colleges and also for Canadian Institutions and they can also to come here and provide courses here in Nigeria.
“This is an area because we come from the same cultural background, Commonwealth and we have same kind of institutions, constitutional and political systems, and federalism.
“So there is more we can share there, with all of the youths booming in Nigeria and looking for opportunities to learn, obviously there is a big space in Canada”, he said.