…Sets agenda for Nigeria
…Wants Russian investors to work closely with NACCIMA, ACCI, NRBC
By Gena Lubem, Abuja
The President of Nigeria-Russia Business Council (NRBC), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode is leading the Nigerian Organised Private Sector (OPS) component to the Russia-Africa Business Forum on-going in Sochi, Russia.
Prince Kayode who is also the President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in an official statement which he personally signed emphasised the need for the Federal Government of Nigeria delegation align with the well-thought out recommendations that were laid out for the country by a cross section of stakeholders.
With him is a delegation of over 40 businessmen cutting across several sectors.
According to him, in view of the strategic nature of the Forum, both hands must be on the deck to ensure that Nigeria maximally takes advantage of the would-be fallouts of the event.
According to him: on September 12th, 2019, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), (NACCIMA), Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC) and Nigerian Russian Business Council (NRBC) along with stakeholders organised high-level Round Table discussion designed to set agenda for Nigerian participation at the Russia-Africa Summit slated for October at Sochi.
The rest of the summary of the agenda set for Nigeria reads as follows:
In the interactive Roundtable critical stakeholders from public and private sectors including special interest groups to brainstorm on specific areas as Nigerian delegation should focus on at Sochi and we arrived at the following:
a) Discussions on uncompleted critical national projects: Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill and the Aluminium Company Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON). Action must be expedited to conclude these projects.
b) Nigerian has challenges in the mining and extractive industry and defence Industries to low technical and logistic capacity. Russian has excess technical capacity to resolve these expeditiously and profitably.
c) Nigeria is having critical infrastructure deficit facing her in the areas of roads, railways, ports and others. Strong partnership with the Russian state and private sector can play vital productive role
d) Agriculture collaboration is a fertile area of engagement. Nigeria needs to explore strong partnership with Russian agricultural sector within the framework of the Forum.
e) Defence and Security Collaboration. Nigerian security challenges can best be addressed by renewing Old Russian military ties;
f) On Nigeria’s investment climate and Security challenges, more energy needs to be injected must be mounted on Nigerian Government to fast track the on-going Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
h) Russian close door approach was also focussed upon. Lack of Russian media outlet and cultural ties despite long years of relationship with Nigeria.
4. Major Conclusions:
1) Nigeria has to realign its economic diplomacy from near total reliance on the West and China to also embracing a Russian alternative.
2) Participants see Sochi as an opportunity for a paradigm shift, to achieve economic development outcomes.
3) A quick deal to revive and operationalise both Ajaokuta project and ALSCON.
4) Reinvigoration of the mining sector through the recent MOU (signed by our dynamic Ambassador in Russia, Prof Ugba and Prof Alexander Petrovich Verzhanskiy of the Russian Mining Association) to tap into Russian mining technical capacity for a win-win partnerships.
5) Renewal of military cooperation Russia particularly for critical air and military platforms and technology (including AFVs) to address current security and Defence challenges.
6) Russian funding and investment in banking, insurance and SME findings.
7) Opening up business contacts for JVs with our entrepreneurs.
8) Russian investment in our critical infrastructure like railways, ports, airports.
9) JVs for Industrial Parks development in Nigeria.
10) Ensure in the minimum MOU between Russia and Nigeria in all the areas identified above.
11) Holding of B2B events covering the above sectors with the private sector playing prominent roles in the entire arrangement.
12) Nigerian government should also fast track improvement in our business and investment climate to ease challenges of attracting direct foreign investment into the country and also take adequate measures to liaise with appropriate public agencies to align with clear policies already in place: (Immigration, Customs and NEPZA and NIPC etc.
Prince Kayode also used the occasion to advise the Russian business community to work to work closely with the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) as well as the Nigeria-Russia Business Council (NRBC) to invest in Nigeria pointing out that, under such arrangement, impressive return on investment will be guaranteed.