Nigeria and Russia have been urged to revive bilateral relations in the areas of Economy, Security, Energy, Education, Steel industry, training and assistance in stemming terrorism, as well as other areas including Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The call was made by Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, the President Nigeria-Russia Business Council at a Roundtable Discussion on Russia-Africa Summit, slated for October 20 this year.
The Roundtable Discussion was organized by Policy and Advocacy Centre in collaboration with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Abuja.
Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, said: “Nigeria and Russia have taken steps to deepen their ties, in political, economy and humanitarian areas, in addition to this there are abundant potentials of cooperation in the areas such as Steel Industry, Nuclear power and Agriculture, Military technical training and law enforcement officers for Nigeria in Russia”.
He noted that “It is on record that, these two countries have held three meetings of the Joint Commission, the last meeting was in 2009, this Joint Commission was the Platform for the two countries to discuss and draw agreement and Memorandum of Understanding MOU on how to conduct Businesses and Investment in each other’s country, but I am tempted to say that we have not done very well beyond signing of the documents”.
One of the organizers of the event, and Director General of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Tonia Shoyele, explained some of the benefits that Nigeria could benefit from the Summit.
“Relationship between Russia and Nigeria since 1960s we are looking out for the possibility of igniting this relationship toward a win-win situation business-wise, Russia is coming invest to Nigeria which of course by population we have better market”.
Professor Usman Muhammed of International Relations and Diplomacy department, Baze University Abuja, emphasized the need for deepening the relationship between the two countries and advised that focus should be on Trade and Investment, Industry, politics and Investment.
Professor Muhammed also said that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) should be strengthened for the socio-economic development of both countries.
He also advised the African leaders to respect the rule of law of their countries and guarantee investors of the safety of their investments.
“Regional organizations should provide respect of the rule of law, democratic experience, making enabling laws for the guarantee of foreign investors’ money. If you don’t have all these nobody will come to your country and invest, stability in the politics gives the courage of any investor to come to your country, and Africans must guarantee that within themselves before any other country”.
One of the participants at the event, the Deputy Director News, Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Ukaa, called on the government to encourage the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He urged the SMEs to employ modern techniques of doing business and engage the young vibrant Nigerians with skills using the new media of internet, ICT, and ventures for economic growth.