Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for more collaboration between Nigeria and Canada to boost trade, deepen ongoing educational collaboration, as well as sustain dialogue on the global energy transition issues and climate change, amongst other.
Osinbajo made the call as part of the highlight of a meeting held with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, in Ottawa, the capital of the North American country on Monday.
While interacting with top Canadian parliamentarians, including senators and cabinet members led by Freeland, Osinbajo said “we are hoping for much more that we can do together.”
On her part, Freeland, who is also Canada’s Finance Minister, had earlier expressed similar sentiments while welcoming Osinbajo, noting that the Canadian government values its relationship with Africa, particularly Nigeria, and has been “looking forward to this visit for a long time,” adding that the relationship with Nigeria is “very important to us.”
Speaking on the global net zero emissions targets, and energy transition, Osinbajo stressed the view that gas ought to be adopted as a transition fuel, noting that it had a strong force at the recent COP27 conference in Egypt, even though still widely unacknowledged in the West.
The Vice President, a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, said “We believe we must use our gas as transition fuel; we have huge gas reserves. We would like to continue to use our gas during the transition”.
He further said that the Federal Government’s Energy Transition Plan is focused on renewable energy, including the ongoing Solar Power Naija Programme, which was launched under the Economic Sustainability Plan.
In her remarks, Freeland, who wondered if countries such as Nigeria are already struggling to get financing for gas projects said, “we will be happy to keep talking with you on that, ” adding that the use of Natural Gas is better hence the dialogue should continue.
Both leaders also exchanged ideas on some of the common and peculiar economic challenges in their respective countries, including fiscal and monetary challenges, subsidies, financial inclusion, social investments programmes and strategies to support the vulnerable, among others.
They further discussed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), noting that the market provides opportunities for mutual benefits, not only for African countries, but also Canada, which desires to contribute to its development and also tapping into the continental market.