The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has expressed Nigeria’s readiness to partner with Russian and other international agencies to create beneficial business opportunities.
The minister disclosed this when a Russian delegate led by Prof. Abdullahi Shehu, Nigerian Ambassador to Russia visited him on Monday in Abuja.
Adebayo, who described the visit as timely, stressed the importance in promoting bilateral relationship between both countries.
According to him, Nigeria places a high premium on relationships between the two countries and we had a good outing in 2019 when we visited Russia.
“Unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic, we have not been able to capitalise on the relationships that were forged at that outing.
“However, I believe that your visit to Nigeria has come at a good time.
“It gives us the opportunity to work harder on the relationships that were forged with a view to seeing that we build a stronger relationship not only between our governments but between businesses in our countries, the minister said.
Adebayo assured that the Federal Government would support decisions reached between the delegation and the business community in Nigeria.
Earlier, Shehu encouraged the delegate to look beyond wrong perceptions of Nigeria and take profitable business risks.
According to him, there is no business without risk.
“The important thing is for any business to understand the risk and know how to manage the risk.
“We propose that Russian business owners should come to Nigeria and meet with our organised private sector because seeing is believing.
“I cannot say we don’t have challenges for all countries have theirs but the manner in which we manage it determines if we achieve our goal.
“The expected outcome is to improve our bilateral relationship with Russian and attract Russian business men to Nigeria,’’ he said.
He added that the objective was to deal with the big, medium and small enterprises as Nigeria needed more of the small scale industries to establish factories rather than importing.
On his part, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, President, Nigeria-Russia Business Council, said that Nigeria is interested in engaging with Russian to boost the steel sector.
He added that partnership in the agricultural and defence sector would also be of advantage for investment.
“We have the market and minerals but cannot afford the equipment needed to mine properly because they are expensive.
“You have the equipment and a partnership will be beneficial to both parties.
“We need your industries working with our tycoons. I suggest that you think deeply, partner with companies at the export free zones and create value.
“We have the land, we have the companies and everything needed for smooth working relationship,’’ Kayode said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ivan Klevtsov, CEO of Metalwork, Russia, said that his country is interested in exploring the demand of Nigeria market and developing the market enterprise.
“The plan is to create a service centre for Russian manufacturers. People can easily maintain products made by Russian companies and Nigerian companies producing similar products.
“This will cut down the importation of equipment part,’’ he said
He expressed hope towards a fruitful relationship with Nigeria and requested government collaboration in bringing objectives to reality.