The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO)’s chairman Sampson Uwem-Edimo says nine Russian companies have indicated interest to invest over $500 million in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector.
Mr Uwem-Edimo disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, ahead of the forthcoming Russia-Nigeria Business Conference.
He said the investment was to deepen the bilateral trade between Nigerian and Russian businesses, noting that the countries’ trade volume was below the desired level.
“No investment happens without trade. The trade volume between Nigeria and Russia today is around half a billion dollars; sometimes, it gets to a billion dollars. It is a very small amount for this kind of business, and for Russia and Nigeria that currently have more than $3 trillion GDP market.
“What we want to do is to see how we can improve the volume of trade between the two countries within the next two years. We do not just want trade, but we want it to lead to investment in terms of manufacturing. So, we are not only looking at these nine companies but using them as a test run to see the response from the Nigerian side,” stated Mr Uwem-Edimo.
He added that plans were ongoing to bring on board, the Russian Export-Import Bank and Nigerian banks to address foreign exchange issues.
Mr Uwem-Edimo said the move would create job opportunities for unemployed Nigerian youths, adding that no fewer than 170 Nigerian companies had registered for the conference.
Also, the Vice President of Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Suren Vardanyan, said he was leading the campaign for Russian companies to succeed in Africa under the project ‘Moscow- Africa.’
Mr Vardanyan stated, “But, we want Nigeria to be the ‘Gateway to Africa’ due to its population and GDP. Our goal is to triple the trade volume within the next two years and bring direct partnership in the area of manufacturing, as the Russian companies can collaborate with new or existing Nigerian companies for expansion or creation of production plants.
“Nigeria can gain employment for her people, as we hope to bring in a minimum of 30 companies within two years that will provide employment for not less than 7,500 families.”