Signature of Canada-Nigeria FIPA, by José Ángel Rueda

Here in Europe we are longing for the publication by the European Union of the list of pre-2009 BITs that its 27 Member States want to maintain in force or permit to enter into force with third States pursuant to Articles 2 and 4(2) of Regulation 1219/2012.[1] This list will clarify the status of some 1,200 BITs entered into by EU Member States between 1959 and 2009 – undoubtedly a major event for international investment law.[2] 

In the meantime, we are following with interest the fact that outstanding States are signing BITs or equivalent treaties with more or less developing countries.

Yesterday we forwarded news from Japan on the signature of a BIT with Saudi Arabia during Mr. Abe’s visit to Jeddah.[3]

Today we hereby echo news of the signature of a FIPA between Canada and Nigeria during the visit to Ottawa of Nigerian Vice President Mohammed Sambo. Both parties have shown satisfaction.

On the Canadian side, Prime Minister Harper’s website[4] referred on 1 May 2013 to the conclusion of negotiations toward the signature of the Canada-Nigeria Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and quoted some remarks made by the Canadian leader:

This agreement will facilitate investment flows between Canada and Nigeria, contributing to job creation and economic growth in both countries.” And “It will provide Canadian companies and investors with the protection and confidence they need to take advantage of the many commercial opportunities in Africa’s most populous nation.

The press release goes on to state some facts about Canadian-Nigerian trade and investment relations as well as the procedure for the FIPA to enter into force:

The Agreement will come into force once both parties complete their respective domestic ratification processes. There are significant Canadian investment opportunities in Nigeria, including in the extractive, information and communications technology, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

Nigeria is Canada’s largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2006, annual bilateral trade between the two countries has more than doubled, reaching $2.3 billion by 2012. In 2011, Canadian direct investment in Nigeria totalled $36 million and is expected to grow as a result of this FIPA.”

On the Nigerian side, President Goodluck Jonathan’s website[5] refers to the actual signature of the FIPA between Canadian and Nigerian authorities. Following the signature Vice President Sambo was scheduled to attend a bilateral investment conference in Toronto; within the context of the signing ceremony he was quoted as noting Canada’s expertise

in hydro power and briefed [Ed Fast, Canadian Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway] of the progress recorded on the 700MW Zungeru power plant with the signing of the 1.3 billion dollar contract on completion; the 3050MW Mambilla power plant estimated at 6.4 billion dollars on completion; the Gurara power plant phase two being built on a PPP arrangement and which on completion will generate 360 megawatts; minerals exploration efforts, implementation of the transportation master plan, dredging of River Niger up to Baro up north and Benue river up to Adamawa.”

The Nigerian Government seemed to be really interested in promotion the country as a venue for investment opportunities.[6]

We will have to wait for some time to assess whether the BIT and the FIPA help boost investment exchanges.



[1] Regulation No. 1219/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries (OJ No. L 351, 20 December 2012).

[4] “PM announces investment treaty with Nigeria”, 1 May 2013, available at http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=1&featureId=6&pageId=26&id=5457

[5] “Nigeria and Canada sign investment promotion pact in Ottawa”, 2 May 2013, available at http://www.nigeriafirst.org/article_13142.shtml.

[6] See references to Mr. Sambo’s participation in the investment conference in Toronto: “Nigeria is investors’s destination”, 5 May 2013, available at http://www.nigeriafirst.org/article_13146.shtml; and “Stability is the attraction for foreign investors – VP Sambo”, 5 May 2013, available at http://www.nigeriafirst.org/article_13148.shtml.

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