The 2nd Deputy President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Engr. Jani Ibrahim has assured that the private sector in Nigeria is committed to partnering with the private sector of the Russia Federation, targeting the increase of trade volume between both countries.
Engr. Jani who was speaking at the Nigeria-Russia Business meeting organised by NACCIMA, ACCI and NIDO Russia at the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Trade and Convention Centre on Wednesday, appealed to all participants to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the event to build network for mutual gains.
He said NACCIMA recommends that Nigeria and Russia need to move their bilateral relation to a new level of functional cooperation in key and strategic economic sectors, so as to increase both the quantity and quality of trade and investments between the two countries.
“As you are all aware, Nigeria and Russia have always enjoyed a warm and friendly bilateral relationship. This is evident in the fact that the bilateral relations between both countries dates back to 25 November, 1960 under the Soviet Union and was later re-established in 1991 after the newly formed Russian Federation.
“It is worthy to note, that the trade volume between both countries stands at 600 million dollars which is below 1 billion dollars. Recently during the 65th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria, both countries signed an Agreement of cooperation in regulation of nuclear and radiation safety in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.”
Engr Jani also said the current leadership of NACCIMA led by Chief Ide John Udeagbala has made strengthening collaboration between the private sector and diplomatic missions one of the areas of interest adding that its of utmost believe that today’s meeting will provide an ample opportunity for both countries to further deepen bilateral relations in possible areas of interest for an inclusive economic growth.
The President Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar who hosted the meeting said Nigeria needs Russian technology to boost industrialization just as Russia needs Nigeria as a market for its industrial products and military equipment.
Represented by the Director General ACCI, Victoria Akai he said, there is weak indication that the two countries have sufficient and adequate perception of each other adding that this in part is responsible for the lack of the political will to implement the existing bilateral agreements.
“Here at ACCI, our members are opened to take advantage of business opportunities that Russia can offer to boost our economic activities. We look forward to a robust deliberation at this meeting.”
The Nigerian Ambassador to Russian Federation, Prof. Abdullahi Shehu said, Russia is an important country to Nigeria adding that upon his arrival at Russia his constructive engagement with them was visiting the Chamber of Commerce where he drew the attention of the members to the reforms needed to promote business in Nigeria.
“We discussed some challenges that hindered effective trade in the country.
Our relationships with Russia started significantly after the independence.
Russia has a lot of potential for Africa but the challenges is for Russia to open up to do business in Africa.
“President Buhari met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in which they discussed some business relationship in technology, oil, agriculture and others. Ours therefore is to follow up in this to better strengthen our business relationship.”
He lauded the effort of NACCIMA and ACCI for always being at the forefront in ensuring that Nigeria fares well in her trade relationship with other countries.
The Leader of the Russia delegation, Mr. Ivan Klevtsov said, Russia is ready to partner and invest in Nigeria adding that they are interested in exploring the demand of Nigeria market and developing the market enterprise.
“The plan is to create a service centre for Russian manufacturers where people can easily maintain products. Afe by Russian companies and nigeriancpmpamies producing similar products.
Klevtsov also added that the companies are looking at investing in gas and oil, mineral development, security and financing technology.
Presentations to enlighten participants on ways of collaboration at the meeting includes the area of ease of doing business initiative, Oil and Gas sector, Banking and International Payment System, Agriculture — Organic Fertilizer, Railway, Drugs and Medical Equipment and Business to Business.
In attendance were, NACCIMA 2nd Deputy amd immediate past President ACCI, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, lead delegation of Russia Federation, Ivan Klevtsov, dignitaries and stakeholders in business sector, members of NACCIMA, ACCI and the diplomatic communities.