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EXPO 2025 will Boost Cultural Exchanges, Attract FDI into Nigeria – Amb. Katagum

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The Federal Government has said that Expo 2025 would contribute to an increase in trade and cultural exchanges as well as attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country.

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum stated this during the inauguration of a Technical Committee on Nigeria’s preparation for the Expo 2025 at Osaka, Japan with the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives” and with three complementary subthemes of “Saving Lives, Empowering Lives and Connecting Lives” in Abuja.

According to the Minister, “Expo 2025 Osaka, Japan is a global event for millions of people, from different countries to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity.

It therefore offers a unique opportunity for all the States and the FCT, Public and Private sectors to assemble under a business umbrella, where they can express themselves using their own unique cultural setting, investment ideas and programmes.

The Exposition is expected to contribute to an increase in trade and cultural exchanges, as well as attract Foreign Direct Investment”.

She further explained that the theme is in tune with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, which seeks to realize a diverse, inclusive and sustainable society, with a pledge to ensure “no one will be left behind”.

The Minister added that beyond presenting ideas towards achieving the SDGs, Expo 2025 would also facilitate discussions on future societal goals from medium to long term perspectives, by providing opportunities for the global community to design, experiment and demonstrate possible future societies that would save, empower and connect lives for years to come.

Amb. Katagum said Nigeria’s participation at the 2025 World Expo in Japan would primarily guarantee access to over 180 participating economies and International Organizations, brought under one umbrella for economic interactions and networking which would also serve as a valuable platform for the promotion of “Made-in-Nigeria” goods and services.

“The Expo will also be used to further expose Nigerian innovators to the world, especially in the area of Fintech, ICT and Renewable Energy, where young Nigerians are making a headway around the globe, through innovative and technological exchanges with global industry leaders”, the Minister stated.

She said, considering the anticipated socio-economic benefits to be derived from Expo 2025 and in conformity with the guidelines and procedures of Expos, President Mohammadu Buhari has graciously approved Nigeria’s participation and the early approval of participation at the forthcoming Expo would give the Committee ample opportunity to prepare Nigeria adequately.

She added that the quest for quality participation at Osaka Expo has underscored the need for Government to constructively mobilize human and material resources which called for the constitution of a Technical Committee, to set the tone and pace for Nigeria’s participation.

The Minister expressed optimism that the team would strengthen its level of dedication in ensuring that Nigeria’s participation has its own unique special flavour that reflects who we are, how we eat, dress, decorate our homes and treat our visitors and above all, welcome investors to our land.

She urged the newly inaugurated Technical Committee to set ambitious and feasible deadlines, ensure the readiness of the country ahead of the opening of the Expo, adding that, “we must all strive to achieve so as to have a value yielding participation at the six months long event”.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Evenly N. Ngige reiterated the Ministry’s determination to lead a robust participation with trackable economic results as rewards for tax payers’ money that would be sought and spent on Nigeria’s participation at Expo 2025 in Osaka Kansai, Japan.

The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director Human Resources Department in the Ministry, Mr. Yisau Adepoju charged members of the committee to work together as a team in attaining the Ministry’s mandates to secure Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), increase both Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and Gross National Products (GNP).

She added that to achieve this, the Ministry with the collaboration of every MDAs and members of the Organized Private Sector (OPS) represented, will lead and guide Nigeria’s business Community to initiate and close deals with businesses with other participating economies and global giants.

The Director,Trade Department, Mr Aliyu Abubakar while giving an overview of the Expo 2025 highlighted the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Technical committee which included: Statutorily involved in the overall planning, coordination and execution of the Expo plan; To interface regularly with the Expo Organizers and Commissioner General of the Nigeria section to ensure that Nigeria goals are aligned to Organizers goals; Identify areas of technical gap that may require private sector partnership in designing and construction of Nigeria Pavilion and source for same; Coordinate fund raising, branding and corporate sponsorship; Determine and Coordinates activities of engaged Technical Partners; Ensures funds are secured and made available to works and construction, planning activities before and during the Expo; To mobilize all relevant stakeholders including net worth individuals to participate at the Expo especially during the National Day Event and Trade and Investment Forum; Secures, equip and set-up a Working Group Secretariat in the Ministry for the Expo 2025 Osaka; Secures a well branded project vehicle for the Working Group; To review the Expo theme and Sub themes for the purpose of articulating the Nigerian theme statement for the Expo; To work closely with the Service Provider/Architect and Multimedia Companies in designing and decorating the Nigerian pavilion to reflect the Expo themes; The Technical Sub-Committee shall design and determine the scope of the job for the multimedia companies; and the Committee shall identify and work with resource person (s) on the Expo themes and Nigeria themes.

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