Full text of address by President of Nigeria-Turkey Business Council, Otunba Dele Oye at Interconnected Business event
ADDRESS BY Hon. DELE KELVIN OYE, 2ND DEPUTY PRESIDENT, NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, MINES AND AGRICULTURE (NACCIMA) AND CHAIRMAN NIGERIA- TURKEY BUSINESS COUNCIL DURING THE TURKEY – NIGERIA INTERCONNECTED BUSINESS FORUM – 18TH JUNE, 2019 VIA ZOOM ONLINE VIDEO CONFERENCE SYSTEM
On behalf of the Council and entire members of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and the Nigeria-Turkey Business Council (NTBC), I am honoured to welcome you to this “Turkey-Nigeria Interconnected Business”, which is a forum jointly organised by the NACCIMA, NTBC, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK).
I wish to recognize our Distinguished Nail Olpak, the President Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEiK), Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, the National President, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (NACCIMA) and my Turkish counterpart, Hakan Ozel, the Chairman Turkey-Nigeria Business Council, our four times Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prince Kayode Adetokunbo SAN CON, President, ACCI and NACCIMA’s 2nd Deputy President (Ex Officio); Honourable Minister Aisha Abubakar, two time Minister and immediate past Hon. Minister of State, Industry Trade and Investment, the Director – General of NACCIMA Amb. Ayo Olukanmi. I also heartily welcome all our other distinguished speakers, dignitaries and participants to this forum.
We deeply appreciate your presence and contributions to this event, especially the Nigerian Embassy in Ankara and the Turkish Embassy in Nigeria. This event which has been put together in line with the aspirations of the Nigeria-Turkey bilateral economic relationship to continually create avenues for the discussion of issues pertinent to the development of the blossoming partnership between our two Countries.
The Nigeria-Turkey Business Council was inaugurated in 2012, in line with an existing memorandum of understanding between the two countries as a means to encourage investment growth between Nigeria and Turkey. However, the two countries had signed a prior trade agreement in Lagos, in 1982, which allowed Turkey to import cocoa, kola nut, rubber, zinc, crude oil, coal, palm nuts while it enabled Nigeria to purchase construction materials, electronic goods and agricultural machineries from Turkey. The economic relations between our two countries gained further momentum in 1999 when Turkey began to import Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from Nigeria.
Since then, the bilateral relationship has witnessed steady and significant growth with Turkey becoming a destination of choice for commerce and tourism for many Nigerians, and Nigeria emerging as one of Turkey’s largest trading partners on the continent.
According to the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries, except for oil and gas stands at nearly $500 million in 2018. The bilateral trade volume for oil and gas in 2019 was calculated at $2.3 billion.
More than 40 Turkish businesses offering varied goods and services currently operate in Nigeria. These businesses employ more than 500 Turkish citizens and over 2,500 Nigerians with a significant quantum in Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria.
The foregoing statistics illustrates only a fraction of the limitless possibilities in the areas of agriculture, mining, oil and gas, textile, manufacturing, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and special economic zones development which exists between the two countries and why forums like these are necessary to cultivate and nurture the existing collaborations for greater mutual gain.
With the policies recently introduced by Nigerian government, engendering a more conducive and friendlier regulatory business environment, Nigeria continues to improve on its ranking in the ease of doing business index, currently making it one of the more attractive destinations for foreign direct investment in Africa.
Turkey on its part presents a comparatively better business partner for Nigeria for several reasons. It is geographically closer to Nigeria than most of our regular Asian business partners and has a resilient and rapidly expanding economy that has grown faster than even that of China and India in recent years.
At the Nigeria-Turkey Business Council, we want the relationship between our Countries to exceed bilateral trade and extend to the establishment of Nigeria-Turkey industrial parks throughout Nigeria.
There are numerous sectors the two countries can nurture their existing collaborations, but we have narrowed our focus down to Food, Health, Construction, textile and Building Materials for the purpose of this forum.
The Organised Private Sector in Nigeria under the auspices of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) is strongly committed and equipped to facilitate the establishment of mutually beneficial economic relationships between investors and businesses from both countries.
NACCIMA is currently the biggest private sector organization in Nigeria with membership of City, State, regional, bilateral and multilateral Chambers of Commerce and almost all the major Companies in Nigeria.
We are sure that with the continued backing and support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Government of Turkey to strengthen the bilateral partnership between our countries, the current relationship will mature into more intensive exchanges, deeper cooperation and broader converging interests, informed by both countries’ long-term economic and strategic interests.
Once again, I welcome you to this forum and wish all participants a rewarding session.
Dele Kelvin Oye
2nd Deputy National President (NACCIMA)
Chairman, Nigeria-Turkey Business Council