A group of Russian companies have expressed willingness to do business in the country by investing in various sectors of the economy.
This was disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja when a 16-man delegation from Russia, representing different companies during a Nigerian-Russian business meeting at the instance of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Russia (NIDO) and the Nigerian Embassy in Russia.
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Mr Ivan Klevtsov, leader of the delegation and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metalwork, a Russian based production and engineering company, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said they were interested in exploring the demand of Nigeria market and developing the market enterprise.
Areas of interest by the companies include oil and gas, mineral development, security and financing technology.
According to him, 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.
“ We have the plan to open station for technical support for production in Nigeria and this will cut down the importation of equipment parts,’’ he said
Earlier, Nigerian Ambassador to the Russian Republic, Prof. Abdullahi Shehu, said that Russia had a lot of potential for Africa.
“The challenge, therefore, is for Russia to understand Africa, to open up and be ready to do business with Africa.
He encouraged the private sector to be actively engaged in businesses and establish networks with the business community, adding that it would enhance the trade volume.
“I don’t want to sound as if we are not satisfied with the trade volume because two years ago, it was less than $300 million and for us to reach $ 600 million despite the impact of COVID-19, it is significant progress.
“We commend ourselves, but there is room for improvement and that is why we are holding this meeting here today,’’ Shehu said.
Mr Jani Ibrahim, 2nd Deputy President of NACCIMA said that the meeting would further deepen the bilateral relations of both countries for inclusive economic growth.
According to Ibrahim, NACCIMA assures you that the private sector of Nigeria is committed to partnering with the private sector of Russia which is targeted at increasing our trade volumes.
“NACCIMA recommends that Nigeria and Russia need to move their bilateral relations to a new level, a functional cooperation, a key and strategic economic samples, so as to increase both quantity and the quality of trade and investments,’’ Ibrahim said.
In his address at the occasion, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, President of ACCI, stressed that Nigeria needed Russian technology to boost industrialization in the country.
Represented by Victoria Akai, Director General of ACCI, Abubakar said that Russia also needs Nigeria as a market for its industrial products and military equipment.
“Although the trade volume between Nigeria and Russia is still low, about less a billion dollars, as both countries have reaffirmed commitment to boosting the trade volume significantly, it is an opportunity to expand our trade volumes,” Abubakar said.