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Abuja Chamber Moves To Boost Russia’s Investment In Nigeria

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Nigeria and Russia have taken bold steps to strengthen trade and investment between the two countries.

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), which is piloting the initiative on behalf of Nigerian, hosted a two-day business forum with a delegation of Russian businessmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to expand investment opportunities in both nations.

The Russian delegates were hosted on the platform of the Nigeria-Russia Business Forum (NRBF) recently at the Abuja International Trade and Convention Centre.

At the event, ACCI president and chairman of NRBC, Chief Adetokunbo Kayode, said that the forum was organised to reintroduce Russians to Nigerian business, revive and deepen bilateral relations.

Kayode noted that the economic relationship on both sides had been very low and faced with challenges such as trade information on each other’s business environment as well as accompanying elements of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).

This, according to him had created uncertainty among business partners and investors.

He explained that the forum would ensure interactive business communication, signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), access to potential buyers, presentation of innovative products and ultimately provide an ideal setting for both Nigeria and Russia to improve on their economies.

“There will be Business to Business (B2B) meetings to provide the perfect opportunity to network and cultivate lasting relationship and strategic partnership,” Kayode Said.

He said:“Nigeria is very anxious to do business with the world and we believe that unless we are doing business with Russia we are not complete. Russia is a very big economy and the country is interested in investing in Africa.

“President Vladimir Putin has declared this year as the “Year of African Russian Engagement”, so we see this as an opportunity to bring critical companies into serious areas of our economy, such as oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing, and cooperation in areas such as hydrocarbon production and processing, nuclear power and Industry.”

Kayode further announced that there will be a feedback forum in Moscow to follow up on agreements to be reached at the B2B meetings.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Mr. Stephen Ugbah, regretted that Russian’s total Investment in Nigeria amounted to only $300million, which according to him, is very disappointing.

Ugbah blamed the development on mutual misunderstanding and suspicions between both countries as well as apathy.

He, however, expressed the hope that the forum would revive the business relationship and strengthen the partnership.

Responding, the leader of the Russian delegation, Valery Vozdvizhensky, who commended ACCI and the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia for the forum, expressed the hope that the forum would serve as a good ground for better business relations.

The Forum featured different Russian and Nigerian companies in agriculture, oil and gas, power, mining, logistics, construction, automobile, health, transportation, energy, security/defence, and finance sectors

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