Nigeria, Russia seal pact to foster trade ties, investment
Nigeria and Russia have sealed a pact to foster bilateral relations between both countries in the area of agriculture, oil and gas and security equipment sectors.
The move was geared to close infrastructural gaps, strengthen diplomatic relations and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) while promoting bilateral economic relations at the national level to eliminate bottlenecks in the ease of doing business.
Speaking at the Business Forum in Lagos, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Prof Abdullahi Shehu, said the improved trade ties would deepen partnerships between both countries, adding that the objective of the mission was to interact with Nigerian businesses and understand the market systems to mitigate risks and promote enduring relationships.
He posited that Nigeria’s position as the entry point for Russia and other businesses in Africa at Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would guarantee high returns on investments.
In addition, he noted that a key area of benefit to the trade relations is steel development; an important component of industrialisation of any country with significant contribution to Gross Domestic Product, and employment creation among others.
He, however, charged the government to pay more attention to the issue of insecurity and corruption to further drive the investment portfolio and enable the country to take its rightful position in the comity of nations.
Shehu charged Nigerians in the diaspora to continue to support the country with not only remittances but also strong investments to drive economic growth and development.
On his part, the Deputy President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Knut Ulvmoen said the Nigerian business environment had improved following the government’s resolve through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to eliminate structural bottlenecks to the ease of doing business.
Ulvmoen said the country’s business landscape offered numerous opportunities for potential and existing investors to expand their investment commitment or new investors planning to bring fresh investments into the country.
He said that areas of opportunities included favorable demography, high population, diversification efforts, and strong financial markets.
Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO) Russia, Samson Uwem, said exposure to Russian businesses and vice versa would engender technology exchange and technical training of personnel.
Umem urged the government to further tackle issues hindering trade and investments in the country to encourage more Russian companies to partner and localise production in Nigeria.
Chief Executive Officer, Metalwork, Russia, Ivan Klevstov, expressed readiness to explore the Nigerian market and develop a strategy of presence in Nigeria.
“Metalwork trading house is part of Euro-Asian group that provides services in housing, industrial fixtures, electronics, oil drilling, security systems among others from several Russia-based companies.
“We are looking to open stations for technical support for Russian manufacturers in Nigeria to help Nigerians get spare parts and other services from Russia on time,” he said.