• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Nigeria looks to Russia for trade expansion amid oil crash


Nigeria is looking to Russia to expand trade and industrial cooperation at a time oil crash is hitting both countries hard.

Russia is an oil-producing country like Nigeria and has other similarities with Africa’s biggest economy. The both countries have resolved to tap into enormous potential inherent in the countries through a platform called RuNiTrade, an e-trading platform designed specifically for Russian and Nigerian business communities to enable them maximise trading opportunities.

The trade relations are facilitated by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in association with Trailtrans Logistics, a group of companies providing customs and clearing services as well as transport and warehouse logistics in Russia.

Speaking at a meeting with the Russian trade mission to Nigeria in Lagos, Nike Akande, president of LCCI, said Nigeria and Russia could use the tool of trade to expand their economies, noting, “We are both oil producing, also rich in natural gas.

“But the Russian economy is of course a much bigger economy and more advanced technologically. With the development on the oil and gas sector, the need to diversify our economies cannot be more urgent than now. I believe that increased trade will enhance economic diversification.”

According to Akande, the current level of trade between the two countries is still very low, stating that with closer cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries, the situation can change for the better.

Russia has shown Nigeria that trade can improve with technology, she said, saying there are enormous opportunities for cooperation and investment in infrastructure development, especially power and engineering, between both countries.

Nigeria is excited with the e-commerce platform, she said further, assuring that this will boost trade and investment, as Nigeria has a lot to offer Russia, being an economy with $500 billion GDP size with rich natural resources and strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

“There is great value in deploying technology to promote trade. Already, e-commerce has gained wide acceptance in our retail trade sector,” she said.

Sampson Uwem-Edimo, general director, Tailtrans, said, “the system allows buyers to bid, and shows him the number of available sellers,” saying the government of Russia was interested in working with Nigeria and many African countries, as the firm would continuously transmit news about Nigeria to Russia.

Amir Afzaal, director of project (IT), RuNiTrade, urged the Nigerian business community to tap into the trading platform as opportunities abound in it.

He said the main features of the platform include search, registration, product display, direct purchase, bidding, communication, including dispute management.