The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Bernhard Schlagheck, disclosed in Abuja on Monday that the volume of trade between Nigeria and Germany shrank to €3.5bn in 2016.
Schlagheck said in an interview that the trade volume dropped by about €2.5bn from €6bn recorded in 2015.
The envoy blamed the fall on the economic downturn in Nigeria, expressing his determination to work toward increasing the volume of trade between the two countries.
He said that as part of efforts to deepen bilateral economic relations, the German Government was supporting market exploration missions by business delegations to Nigeria.
Schlagheck said that Germany had committed millions of Euros to vocational training in Nigeria and was prepared to keep promoting the programmes.
“The German Government has a whole range of activities in various states in this country and we have invested €50m in vocational training in Nigeria in a year.
“We are doing a lot of other training in Nigeria. In various states, we have projects of German enterprises with some private partners.
“So, we have whole lots of training to enhance capacity building in Nigeria.”
Schlagheck said that a training session on technical facility management through Germany Dual Vocational Training in partnership with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce had just been concluded in Abuja.
According to him, DVT system is the commonest form of vocational training in Germany.
The envoy explained that “dual” in this context meant a combination of practical, on-the-job training and theoretical education at a vocational school to ensure proper balance of theory and practice.
The President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Tony Ejinkeonye, also said that the training would impact on the fortunes of member companies as well as on the Nigerian economy.
He said that the project started in March 2015, was initiated by the chamber and Giessen-Friedberg with a view to adding quality to vocational education in Nigeria.
“The apprenticeship scheme is used widely in Germany and it has over the years contributed to the success story being recorded in that country’s manufacturing sector.’’