Deputy Head of Mission, Russia Embassy, Valery Shaposhnikov, on Monday said that the trade volume between Russia and Nigerian would increase with the buying of agricultural produce from the country by Russia.
Mr Shaposhnikov said this at a news conference to unveil the Nigeria-Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NRCCI) in Abuja, founded by its Chairman and Zenith Labour Party candidate in the November 6 Anambra governorship election, Obiora Okonkwo.
Mr Shaposhnikov put the trade between Nigeria and his country at $600 million and attributed the low trade volume to Russia’s non-purchase of Nigeria’s crude oil. He explained that more Russian companies were willing to buy Nigerian products provided they meet international standards.
According to Mr Shaposhnikov, the trade volume is not based on oil transactions because Russia does not buy oil from Nigeria.
“When we talk about trade volumes with other countries, practically all these volumes are based on oil transactions – buying and selling oil products and oil. In our case, the situation is more healthy. There is no oil transaction,” said the Russian envoy stated. “We are supplying fertilisers, wheat, machinery to Nigeria and we are buying some agricultural products from Nigeria. Maybe not so much as you would like to see and not so much as we will like to buy, but the products you are selling should be good and meet international standards, and when it is done, the volume will rise.”
Mr Shaposhnikov said that some companies in Russia were interested in buying agricultural produce in Nigeria, adding that “we want companies here to produce more high standard products and also to provide that these products meet international standards.”
Mr Okonkwo said that the commerce platform would enable Nigeria to explore business relations with Russia.
“The principal objectives of Nigeria and Russian chambers of commerce is to promote commerce, industry, trade, and ancillary services,” he noted. “It will also foster, advance, and protect commercial, industrial, trade, and professional enterprises without limitation.”