Italy Pledges Support for Nigeria’s Agro-Industry
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The agricultural sector in Nigeria has received another huge boost with the commitment recently shown by Italy.
Italy considers Nigeria to be its second biggest commercial partner in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the priority markets in 2017.
At a meeting with Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, said her country will continue to back the Federal Government in combating terrorist activities and militancy in the Niger Delta region of the country, which has affected the production of crude oil, Nigeria’s major foreign exchange earner.
Alfano informed Mr Kachikwu that, “We appreciate the potential of the Nigerian market and its entrepreneurship and consider Nigeria to be Italy’s second biggest commercial partner in sub-Saharan Africa, one of the priority markets in 2017.”
“Our excellent economic and commercial relations, which include the traditional presence of Italian companies in the oil and gas sector – continued the minister – present further opportunities for growth in other sectors, particularly agro-food and agro-industry, which is why a branch office of the Italian Trade Agency will be opening in Lagos in 2017,” she added.
The meeting provided an opportunity to take stock of the political situation in the country.