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Nigeria, Russia to strengthen bilateral ties

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Abdullahi Yibaikwal


Nigeria and Russia have announced plans to strengthen trade ties, noting that the move will explore new investment opportunities that exist in both countries.

Although, the trade volume between Nigeria and Russia is still low, about less a billion dollars, both countries have reaffirmed commitment to boosting the trade volume significantly.

The Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Prof Abdullahi Yibaikwal, at a webinar, tagged, “Exploring the vast opportunities of Nigerian and Russian markets”, said many Russian companies are open for investments into Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, energy, oil and gas, health care and other sectors of the economy.

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“These are opportunities to boost investment in both countries. There still exists a huge gap in the power generation, transportation and distribution,” he said.

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

According to her, the event is part of its bilateral engagement to promote trade and investment on national, continental and global levels.

She added that the event was organised with the aim of strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Russia while also exposing new investment opportunities in both countries.

She stated that the Nigerian business environment has improved remarkably in recent years following the Federal Government’s resolve, through the Presidential Business Executive Council (PEBEC), to eliminate structural bottlenecks to the ease of doing business.

She noted that the Nigerian business landscape offers numerous opportunities for potential and existing investors intending to expand their investment commitments.

“We do have the largest economy in Africa with a nominal GDP of $450 billion, so, our huge economic size has attracted several international investors from across the globe. This economy is largely diversified in terms of industries, services and the agriculture sector. Our economy demonstrated resilience amid pandemic disruptions in the year 2020 by exiting recession quicker than expected,” she said.

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She said the federal government has continued to restate its commitment to developing the real sector of the economy through various policy initiatives, saying that with the AfCFTA, the opportunities for investments are huge.

“One of our strong mandates is to facilitate trade and we are looking forward to collaborating with Russian investors interested in the Nigerian economy,” she added.

Giving her remarks, the Minister Counselor, Economic Trade and Investment, Ms. Mercy Haruna, said the prospect of trade and economic cooperation between both countries through both outflow and the inflow of investment is very bright.

She added that Nigeria has opportunities in various areas such as agriculture, energy, infrastructure, ICT, and oil and gas, saying that Nigeria boasts of the largest market in Africa with a population of about 200 million and is ever ready and open for business to all potential investors.

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