The Honourable Jim Karygiannis, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt, has completed a successful fact-finding trip to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mr. Karygiannis was accompanied by Mr. Kene Nnagbo, Vice-President of Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (Ottawa) and Mr. Billy Etuk, President of the Canada-Nigeria Business Council.
In Abuja, Mr. Karygiannis met with various government officials and members of the legislature to explore the possibility of arranging a Canadian business trade mission to Nigeria later in the year. During these meetings, Mr. Karygiannis was encouraged by various officials who expressed great interest in more Canadians doing business in Nigeria. It was pointed out that the Nigerian and Canadian legal systems are based on British Common Law and, therefore, Canadian business people will be comfortable with the Nigerian laws that pertain to business.
On his trip to Lagos, Mr. Karygiannis and his party met with the Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to further explore the possibilities of a trade mission. The discussion was wide-ranging and covered such topics as the best time to arrange a mission, the types of Canadian businesses which would prosper in Nigeria and the Nigerian companies which would be most suitable to partner with Canadian businesses.
In recent weeks, there have been sectarian riots in the City of Jos, in northern Nigeria. In order, to more fully understand the situation, Mr. Karygiannis and his party met with Christian and Muslim religious leaders, government officials and civil society officials. During these discussions some issues which led to the riots were identified. The feeling among these leaders was that issues such as unemployment and poverty could be addressed and would help lessen tensions. The reconstruction of the homes and businesses that had been destroyed was beginning and people were leaving the refugee camp to return home.
In his meeting with Chief Solomon Lar, the Chair of the Committee established to investigate the underlying tensions which led to the riots, Mr. Karygiannis was told that the issues leading to the riots must be identified and solutions must be found so that peace could return to the area. “We must build our nest together.” stated Chief Lar.
Mr. Karygiannis also met with the Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, to discuss the situation in Jos. The Governor and Mr. Karygiannis discussed the government’s quick action in re-establishing order after the riots. The Governor indicated that those responsible for instigating the riots would be charged and brought to justice.
“I feel that my trip to Nigeria was very useful. There are many opportunities for Canadian businesses.” said Mr. Karygiannis. “I look forward to leading a delegation to Nigeria in the future.”
(source: emphasis world)
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