Nigeria, Russia to Strengthen Bilateral Trade

The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi admits that the formal inauguration of a Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NRCCI) will consolidate efforts to deepen the existing relationship between Nigeria and Russia and invigorate business opportunities.

The Vice President made this remark while hosting a delegation of the Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry led by its President, Obiora Okonkwo, at the Presidential Villa.

The delegation included representatives of the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment and Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission representation from the Russian government, including a special envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Oleg Ozerov, and the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshim.

According to the Vice President, mutual diplomatic relations between both countries dates back to the 60s. He said “after a very extensive period of collaboration between our countries, frankly, I was quite surprised that we don’t already have a Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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“I assumed that such a body already existed; it is never too late to do a good thing. This is an auspicious time to do so, especially given all of the economic opportunities before us.”

Making reference to a previous meeting of African leaders and Russian business executives in 2019, Osinbajo noted that the interaction was an excellent introduction to serious business for African countries with Russia and there had been many economic and social engagements, especially in education.

“I think also that there have been several economic relationships that have blossomed for a while and several other businesses and commercial opportunities that are opening up here and there.

“But I think there is a need to formalise and to have a channel such as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There is a need for that to happen so that we are better able to build upon what has taken place in the years gone by.

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“ This is a very unique opportunity for us to do really good work and to strengthen relations between our countries.”

Vice President Osinbajo reiterated the support of the Federal Government to ensure that NRCCI is inaugurated soon, worked for the benefit of Nigerian businesses and Russian investors and business people.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Okonkwo, said the visit of the Russian delegation to the country and the courtesy call on the VP was a prelude to the formal inauguration of the Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said the effort was aimed at improving the already existing relations between both countries across different sectors including commerce and business, and exploring new opportunities in technology and infrastructure.

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On his part, the representative of the Russian government, Ozerov said the formalization of the pact between Nigeria and Russia was prompted by the need to strengthen relations between both countries especially in the areas of energy, ICT, agriculture, and infrastructure, among others.

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