Organised private sector commends Buhari over Sochi achievements
By Lubem Gena
The Organised Private Sector in Nigeria has commended multivarious achievements of Nigeria at the recently concluded Russia-Africa Summit ,lauding President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a leadership that generated so much results alongside close collaboration between government and the private sector.
President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry who is also the alternate head of Nigerian Russian Business Council, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode in an interview with SAHEL STANDARD said “the Chairperson of National Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (NACCIMA), Hajia Saratu Iya Aliya and the entire leadership of NACCIMA are elated by Nigeria’s outing in Sochi, adding, “the private sector is full of praise for the Nigerian leadership on the handling of the main and sideline events.
“For us within the private sector,the outcome correlates with our expectations especially after the outing at the Africa-Japanese summit.Nigeria went to Sochi with clear agenda which the President,his team and the Organised Private Scetor rigorously pursued with resounding outcomes.
“It is our conclusion that all the MOUs signed at the Sochi summit will go a long way to bridge the infrastructural gap plaguing Nigerian economy and also develop some critical industries which are neccesary for Nigeria to advance economically.
“We are happy with the resolution on Ajaokuta steel,development of Nigerian gemstones sector,the Lagos Calabar railway programme and a host of other laudable agreements.It is like Sochi summit is meant for Nigeria only as other countries watched our outputs with awe”,he said.
For effective implementation of the MOUs, Prince Kayode appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the spirit of collaboration with the private sector which was demonstrated at Sochi, adding, “I urge the government to employ the platforms of Russian Nigerian Businness Council, NACCIMA and the ACCi to reap huge benefits obtainable from the MOUs.
“We all can see that the Russian governments mobilised their private sectors across the affected industry areas. We as the Nigerian private sector have done our ground work both at the level of Nigerian-Russian Business Council and Abuja Chamber of Commerce.
“For example, Abuja Chamber has signed MoU with the Moscow Chamber of Commerce. Our government should now create enabling environment to ensure that the implementation of the various agreement has sufficient local content.
“That is how sufficient jobs can be created. That is how the value chain businesses can gain and develop and that is how the sustainability of the various projects can be assured”, Kayode opined.
The ACCI boss affirmed that the private sector has proven to be a productive partner to the government before and during the summit, calling on the administration to embrace the OPS for sustainable implementation of the various MoUs.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria-Russia Business Council (NRBC), ACCI and collection of other critical stakeholders had organised a pre-Sochi Roundtable with an agenda setting brainstorming conclusions.
Extracts from the Round table reads as follows:
“In the interactive Roundtable critical stakeholders from public and private sectors including special interest groups to brainstorm on specific areas as Nigerian delegation should focus on at Sochi and we arrived at the following:
“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 projects.
“Nigerian has 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.
“Nigeria is having critical infrastructure deficit facing her in the areas of roads, railways, ports and others. Strong partnership with the Russian state and private sector can play vital productive role.
“Agriculture collaboration is a fertile area of engagement. Nigeria needs to explore strong partnership with Russian agricultural sector within the framework of the Forum.
“Defence and Security Collaboration. Nigerian security challenges can best be addressed by renewing Old Russian military ties.
“On Nigeria’s investment climate and Security challenges, more energy needs to be injected must be mounted on Nigerian Government to fast track the on-going Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
“Russian close door approach was also focussed upon. Lack of Russian media outlet and cultural ties despite long years of relationship with Nigeria.
“Opening up business contacts for JVs with our entrepreneurs.
“Russian investment in our critical infrastructure like railways, ports, airports.
“JVs for Industrial Parks development in Nigeria.
“Ensure in the minimum MOU between Russia and Nigeria in all the areas identified above.
“Holding of B2B events covering the above sectors with the private sector playing prominent roles in the entire arrangement.
“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.
Prince Kayode led the Nigerian private sector component to the Sochi Business Forum.