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Russian businesses eye opportunities in Nigeria

Russian companies are looking to tap into trade potentials with Nigeria, as well as possibilities of local investments that will create value on both sides.

This was disclosed at a business conference webinar themed “Exploring the vast opportunities of Nigerian and Russian markets” where both economies agreed that it was necessary to improve trade relations with each which currently stands at less than one billion dollars.

Abdullahi Yibaikwal, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia said many Russian companies are looking to tap opportunities from Nigeria, hence moving to make investments into various sectors of the economy such as the telecommunications sector, energy, oil and gas, health care, etc.

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

Toki Mabogunje, president, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), commended the initiative of both countries, noting that it aligns with the goal of promoting trade and investment on the national, continental and global level.

She added that the federal government through the Presidential Business Executive Council (PEBEC) is working to eliminate structural bottlenecks to the ease of doing business which will improve the business environment

“the Nigerian business landscape offers numerous opportunities for potential and existing investors intending to expand their investment commitments while also exposing new investment opportunities,” she said.

She mentioned that the country’s large economy, provides an exciting market, strong labor force and other opportunities especially with the provision of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

“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.

Ekaterina Lebedeva, vice president, Council of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Nigeria and Russia have similar industries and issues thus; both countries could seek better solutions to address the challenges facing industrial development.

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She said the relationship would also create a platform for both nations to discuss newer contracts and investment opportunities for economic gains and development.

Ayoola Olukanni, Director General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) ‎urged that crucial sectors like manufacturing and nascent sectors such as technology, renewable energy should be focused on to relieve other saturated sectors and improve local production.

“Today’s development is essentially driven by technology, hence it is crucial to utilize technological advancement and digitalization for increased benefits,” he said

Victoria Akai, Director General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), said Nigeria is working to upscale its relationship with countries in other continents for economic growth and development while Russia is taking a strategic and beneficial position as an investor during the commencement of the AfCFTA.

She urged prospective Russian investors to build relationships with local competitors so they can familiarize themselves with the business environment and modus operandi in Nigeria.

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