The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) on Monday unveiled new strategies and innovative ways to deepen Nigeria-Russian economic relationship.
The ACCI President, Adetokunbo Kayode, said this in Abuja at the Nigeria-Russian Business Forum.
He said the 2-day forum would be used to revive the old economic ties that had existed between the two countries.
“This event promises to be an important platform for entrepreneurs and investors who are active in the rapidly growing economies at the global scale to interact and do businesses among themselves,” Kayode said.
He said that the forum would be used to refocus the relationship to become one not only based on trading in finished goods, but also on critical areas.
Kayode mentioned the critical areas as the manufacturing industries, agro-processing, steel and metallurgy, automobile, oil and gas and technology.
He said that the two countries were very important and valuable markets for the producers of products, goods and services.
He said that the forum would also serve as a platform where products and services would meet customers and Business to Business (B2B) meetings which will provide opportunities to network and cultivate lasting business relationships.
Kayode said over the years, the diplomatic relationship had witnessed the establishment of Russia-Nigeria Business Council (RNBC) which oversees economic activities between the two countries.
He said that the council was, however, inactive for a long time since the demise of the initial founder Mr Goodie Ibru.
“After series of meetings, we have acted passionately and revived the council under a new leadership,” Kayode said.
Mr Stephen Ugbah, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, said that he had to work hard when he resumed in the country because for some years Nigeria had no ambassador representing it there.
Ugbah said that Russia involvement in Nigeria economy was low.
According to him, Nigerian government was focusing on boosting the country’s economy.
He, however, complained that there was lack of awareness on both side of countries nothing that such must be addressed.
“Nigeria does not know much about Russian economy and same with Russia,” Ugbah said.
He said that the forum was designed to sensitise Russians on the business opportunities in Nigeria.
“There is a lot Russians can benefit from the Nigerian economy,” Ugbah said.
Mr Valéry Shaposhnikor, Russian Deputy Head of Mission, said that although the country had not benefited enough from Nigeria, but with the recent relationship much would be achieved.
Shaposhnikor, who represented Russian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Alexey shebarshin, said “I believe this forum will help us learn more about Nigerian and areas of investment opportunities.”