The bilateral trade relations between Nigeria and France which stood at $4.5 billion in 2019, shrank to $2.3 billion in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
French Minister of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, said this while briefing newsmen at the end of a meeting with members of Nigeria Governors Forum on Tuesday.
He said France is a major financial partner for Nigeria, being the second bilateral creditor of Nigeria after China, thanks to the involvement of French Development Agency (AFD).
“AFD engaged more than €2 billion in the last 10 years in over 35 development projects. France will also dedicate financing and capacity building in the health sector in some Nigerian states,” he said.
Riester added that France is also one of the major partners of the COVAX initiative, noting that last February, French President, Emmanuel Macron warned that the failure to share vaccines would entrench global inequality.
According to him, the president proposed sending part of the coronavirus vaccine supplies owned by European countries, the United States, China and Russia to developing countries.
The minister explained that there are about 100 French companies presently in Nigeria investing in the health, energy, environment, logistics and other sectors, and employing about 10,000 workers.