We Must Encourage Consumption Of African Products – Ugandan High Commissioner

LAGOS/Nigeria: Mr Nelson Ocheger, Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, has urged African leaders to encourage the consumption of goods produced in Africa.

Ocheger said this in an interview at the ongoing 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) on Tuesday in Lagos.

The fair, which started on Nov. 5 and ends on Nov. 14 has as its theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value.”

Over 200,000 visitors are expected while about 1,500 exhibitors from 16 countries are participating in the 35th edition of the fair.

“If you go to most of Nigeria’s markets right now most of the milk products are from Europe or the Arab world, from the middle east that don’t rear many cows.

“We have a lot of milk in Uganda and there is a market for it here in Nigeria and all over West Africa.

“We want the people here to know that Uganda is able to supply not just Nigeria but the entire West Africa with their milk products such as yoghurt, fresh milk, powdered milk and pasturised milk,” said Ocheger.

He said the country was participating in the trade fair to showcase Uganda’s investment opportunities and tourist attractions.

“Uganda is showcasing its products in Lagos because we know that there are many traders, many clients, many customers who are not aware of what Uganda is producing.

“That is why we are showcasing milk, we are showcasing coffee, we are showcasing tea and other products we are producing.

“We hope that by the end of this exhibition both the public and private sectors will be able to know what Uganda is producing in terms of goods and services as well as investment opportunities,” he said.

The high commissioner noted that the volume of trade between Nigeria and Uganda was in the range of 8 million dollars to 10 million dollars per annum, which was something that both governments were determined to scale up.

He said the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by both countries would ease facilitation of goods and services.

The high commissioner said Uganda and Nigeria had enjoyed cordial bilateral relations and political relations for several decades after independence.

According to him, the governments of both countries are working to upscaling the relationship to cooperation in areas of commercial and economic diplomacy.

He said Uganda was also showcasing its huge tourism potential at the fair to attract visitors to the country.

The high commissioner said apart from the numerous wild life and beautiful lakes and mountains, Uganda was also targeting faith-based tourism, which was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the annual Martyrs Day celebration in Uganda was attended by many Nigerian Christians in honour of the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity who were killed on the orders of Mwanga II, the Kabaka of Buganda.

Ocheger also said the country had reputable universities led by Makerere University. “We have students both in public and private universities and we now have more than 30 private universities.

“As we speak right now, we have over 3,000 Nigerian students studying in Ugandan universities.”

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