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Nigerian Embassy in Belgium yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with an international law firm, A-Law that would facilitate Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, and training of Nigerian judges and lawyers.

The agreement, according to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, was signed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, Obinna Chiedu Onowu and A-Law’s Managing Partner, Patricia Leers in Brussels, the capital and largest city in Belgium.

It explained that the MoU serves as the primary basis for the relationship between the Embassy and the law firm, and contemplates inter-alia on leveraging and exchanging information and network in the areas of trade and investment, maritime and logistics, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and other relevant sectors of interest in Nigeria.

The agreement will also facilitate the development and operation of a framework for physical and virtual training, internships and exchange programs in Belgium to experienced and trainee judges and lawyers from Nigeria.

According to  Ambassador Onowu, “the in-house multidisciplinary team of Belgian and foreign Lawyers as well as niche practice in the logistics and transportation area of law may bring across further opportunities for cross-border cooperation models.”

He said all parties were optimistic that the MoU would increasingly highlight the economic potentials of Africa’s largest market (Nigeria), drive foreign direct investment and accrue mutual benefits to all parties and countries involved.

It would be recalled that investors from Belgium had in February this year expressed interest in the National Maritime Transport Policy being developed by Nigeria.

Executive officers of the Port of Antwerp International, a Belgium port, stated this in Lagos during a meeting with Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.

Jamoh highlighted huge opportunities for investment in wreck removal and recycling, stressing that the federal government was planning a coordinated wreck removal policy to drive investment in the area in a statement titled, ‘FDI: Belgian investors watching Nigeria’s maritime transport policy closely’.

The visiting team of executives from the Port of Antwerp International had sought an audience with the NIMASA boss to follow up investment interests in Nigeria.

The Managing Director of APEC-Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Centre and Port of Antwerp International, Mr. Kristof Waterschoot, and Director at Port of Antwerp International, Mr. Mario Lievens, said they were also in Nigeria to promote new partnership opportunities, especially in the area of training.

Waterschoot and Lievens, who hosted Jamoh at the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce, Onikan, Lagos, said their mission was to discuss projects of interest, including inland ports, and to strengthen the relationship between the Port of Antwerp and NIMASA, particularly in the areas of training, technical support, and cooperation.


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