Nigerian private sector sets agenda for Russia-Africa summit
Nigerian private Sector has set broad agenda for the Nigerian delegation to the Russia-Africa Summit coming up later this month.
The agenda was the outcome of a stakeholders’ roundtable organised by NACCIMA,Nigeria-Russia Business Council,Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigeria Private Sector Alliance.
A copy of the executive summary of the Roundtable obtained by Sahel Standard was signed by the ACCI president,Adetokunbo Kayode and widely shared with government leaders in Nigeria.
The report is published below:
On September 12th, 2019, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), (NACCIMA), Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC) and Nigerian Russian Business Council (NRBC) along with stakeholders organised high-level Round Table discussion designed to set agenda for Nigerian participation at the Russia -Africa Summit slated for October 20, at Sochi.
The roundtable was presided over by Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN, President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigeria-Russia Business Council. Coordinated by Executive Director of Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC) Mr Olawale Rasheed.
- SUMMARY OF DISCUSSIONS:
The interactive event gathered critical stakeholders from public and private sectors including special interest groups to brainstorm on specific areas as Nigerian delegation should focus on at Sochi.
- Major points of discussed:
a) The critical role of the private sector in bilateral business relations with Russia. Nigeria Government delegation to Sochi should comprise of strong private sector component was a major.
b) Discussions on uncompleted critical national projects: Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill and the Aluminium Company Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON). Action must be expedited to conclude these.
c) Nigerian challenges in the mining and extractive industry and defence Industries to low technical and logistic capacity. Russian has excess technical capacity to resolve these expeditiously and profitably.
d) Critical infrastructure deficit facing Nigeria in the areas of roads, railways, ports and others. Strong partnership with the Russian state and private sector can play vital productive role;
e) Agriculture collaboration is a fertile area of engagement. Nigeria needs to explore strong partnership with Russian agricultural sector.
f) Defence and Security Collaboration. Nigerian security challenges can best be addressed by renewing Old Russian military ties;
g) Nigeria’s investment climate and Security challenges. Pressure must be mounted on Nigerian Government to fast track the on-going ease of doing business in Nigeria.
h) Russian close door approach was also focussed upon. Lack of Russian media outlet and cultural ties despite long years of relationship with Nigeria.
- MAJOR CONCLUSIONS:
1) Nigeria has to realign its economic diplomacy from near total reliance on the West and China to also embracing a Russian alternative.
2) Participants see Sochi as an opportunity for a paradigm shift, to achieve economic development outcomes.
3) A quick deal to revive and operationalise both Ajaokuta project and ALSCON;
4) Reinvigoration of the mining sector through the recent MOU (signed by our dynamic Ambassador in Russia, Prof Ugba and Prof Alexander Petrovich Verzhanskiy of the Russian Mining Association) to tap into Russian mining technical capacity for a win-win partnerships;
5) Renewal of military cooperation Russia particularly for critical air and military platforms and technology (including AFVs) to address current security and Defence challenges.
6) Russian funding and investment in banking, insurance and SME findings
7) Opening up business contacts for JVs with our entrepreneurs.
8) Russian investment in our critical infrastructure like railways, ports, airports
9) JVs for Industrial Parks development in Nigeria
10) Ensure in the minimum MOU between Russia and Nigeria in all the areas identified above.
11) Holding of B2B events covering the above sectors with the private sector playing prominent roles in the entire arrangement.
12) Nigerian government should also fast track improvement in our business and investment climate to ease challenges of attracting direct foreign investment into the country and also take adequate measures to liaise with appropriate public agencies to align with clear policies already in place: (Immigration, customs and NEPZA and NIPC etc.
NACCIMA. ACCI. NRBC. PAC and stakeholders.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode SAN, CON