Chambers and others demand better relations between Nigeria and Russia

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By Ibrahim Apekhade Yusuf

Nigerians have expressed genuine concerns about the trade deficit between Nigeria and Russia, the latter having continued to benefit more from bilateral relations between the two countries.

The above was the summary of the discussion during a webinar titled “Exploring the Vast Opportunities of the Nigerian and Russian Markets”, in which participants from different backgrounds express the need for a trade balance between the two countries.

The trade volume of the two countries is currently less than a billion dollars.

Firing the first salvo, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia Professor Abdullahi Yibaikwal said many Russian companies are open to investment in telecommunications, energy, oil and gas, healthcare and other sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

“These are opportunities to stimulate investment opportunities in both countries. There is still a huge gap in the production, transmission and distribution of electricity, ”he said.

Also speaking at the event, Minister Counselor, Economic Trade and Investment, Ms. Mercy Haruna, said the prospects for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries through the outflow and inflow of investments are very bright. .

She added that Nigeria has opportunities in various fields such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, ICT, oil and gas, saying Nigeria boasts of the largest market in Africa with a population of about 200 million inhabitants.

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Toki Mabogunje said that Lagos is Nigeria’s commercial hub and the economic hub of the West African sub-region, saying LCCI is in a strategic position to promote trade and investment.

According to her, the event is part of her bilateral commitment to promote trade and investment at national, continental and global levels and organized with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations between Nigeria and Russia while exposing new opportunities for investment in both countries.

“We have the largest economy in Africa with a nominal GDP of $ 450, so our enormous economic size has attracted several international investors from all over the world. This economy is widely diversified in terms of industries, services and agricultural sector. Our economy has shown resilience in the face of the pandemic disruptions of 2020 by emerging from the recession faster than expected, ”she said.

She said the federal government has continued to reaffirm its commitment to develop the real sector of the economy through various policy initiatives, saying that with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), investment opportunities are huge.

For her part, the CEO of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victoria Akai, expressed her belief that the niches open to opportunities include energy, agriculture and agro-allied products, l aerospace, ICT, oil and gas and infrastructure development. “We hope that there can be private sector collaboration between Russia and Nigeria.”

Believing the above, the director general of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, said the focus should be focused on the private sector and the non-oil sector.

NIDO Russia President Uwem Sampson at the conference also noted that “Nigeria and Russia are huge and potential countries, so they have a lot to gain from doing business together in which the private sector is a link. important. Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) Europe, Russian Chapter will continue to push for this commercial link. As continental president of NIDO Europe, I will continue to support the Russian chapter in this direction. NIDO is a Nigerian soft power to promote and improve direct investment and trade in Nigeria.

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