Premium Times by Bassey Udo
June 19, 2014
The fund facility will help Nigerian entrepreneurs, SMEs, form Joint ventures with Dutch companies.
Nigeria is to benefit from a €700 million Growth Fund facility from the Netherlands, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation, Lilianne Ploumen, has said.
Mr. Ploumen said the fund, which would be launched in July 2014, will benefit Nigeria among other countries. He said the decision comes on the heels of the discussion between Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, and his Dutch counterpart, last year.
Mr. Aganga confirmed this during the Nigeria-Netherlands Business Forum in Lagos, on Wednesday.
The Netherlands minister is currently in Nigeria with a delegation of over 20 Dutch businessmen to tie a win-win trade and investment relationships.
The Dutch Growth Fund, Mr. Aganga said, would enable Nigerian entrepreneurs and small and medium-scale enterprises, SMEs, to form joint ventures with their Dutch counterparts.
The fund would also help the entrepreneurs, expand their businesses and invest in critical and thriving sectors.
“Netherlands is one of Nigeria’s largest trading partners,” Mr. Aganga said, “Within the last five years, the value of trade between Nigeria and Netherlands has grown from about $2.5 billion to about $10 billion.
“In addition to the fact that there are so many Dutch companies operating and doing well in Nigeria, there is also the €700 million Dutch Growth Fund, which the Government of Netherlands is planning to establish.
“It will be accessed by Nigerians in partnership with Dutch entrepreneurs who can bring in their know-how and innovation. This will make Joint Ventures easier between the two countries,” said Mr. Aganga.
The Minister commended the Dutch Government for the fund, recalling that Nigeria was included among the possible beneficiaries following an appeal he made to his Netherlands counterpart when he visited the country about two years ago when the fund was about to be created.
” I appealed that Nigeria should be included as one of the countries that will benefit from the fund. She promised that she would visit Nigeria and give us an update on the fund. I am delighted that she has fulfilled her promise of visiting Nigeria.
Ms. Ploumen said during the event that the decision to include Nigeria as one of the benefitting countries was based on Nigeria’s huge economic potentials as the biggest economy in Africa.
The fund, she said, would also help to fast-track inclusive economic growth, especially in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The Dutch Fund, she added, would promote the Joint Venture and investment of Dutch companies with their Nigerian counterparts.
“Nigeria has been included as one of the countries that would benefit from the Fund because we see great investment and growth opportunities in Nigeria,” Ms. Ploumen said.
“Within the next three to four years, we will be investing €700 million into the fund, which is open for all sectors of the Nigerian economy.” She said.
The objective, she explained, was to enhance inclusive economic growth in Nigeria,Africa’s largest economy.
She said the Netherlands government is looking forward to seeing more Nigerian businesses partnering with their Dutch counterparts and leveraging on the friendship and good economic relations existing between Nigeria and Netherlands.
The Dutch Growth Fund, which is open to all Nigerian entrepreneurs, she said, would help to expand the business, trade and economic relationships between the two countries.