Nigerian ambassador to Russia, Abdullahi Shehu, on Tuesday, encouraged investors from the European nation to localise the production of their goods in Nigeria.
Mr Shehu, in an interview in Moscow, urged the Russian investors to explore the enormous potential in Africa, particularly Nigeria.
Speaking on the just concluded 2nd Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit, Mr Shehu identified trade as one area in which Nigeria would focus its economic cooperation with Russia.
“These include the area of trade. Almost all African countries are interested in trading with Russia. But the point that the Nigerian delegation made is that trade is good, but investment and financing are better,” the diplomat stated.
He explained this was because “under the current geopolitical situation, it is hard to buy and sell and transport goods from Russia to Africa because the logistic chains have been affected by the sanctions.”
The ambassador added, “Therefore, the best thing to do is to encourage Russia to understand the African market. They should explore the possibilities of investment in Nigeria and take advantage of its huge market and localise the production of their goods in Nigeria.”
Mr Shehu emphasised that there was a convergence of needs and opportunities in Africa, particularly in Nigeria, pointing out that the needs “are there and the Russian companies have the opportunities” to invest in ICT, food production, energy and mining and other sectors.
“So, this is why Nigeria came with a vision to see that they sensitise the Russian companies with respect to graduating from trading to investment. And this cooperation is in vast areas with other African countries,’’ Mr Shehu said.
The Nigerian official, who described the summit as a success, said it not only deepened the bilateral relations between Russia and African countries but also fostered continental cooperation.
“So, now we believe that a platform for strategic partnership has been created,’’ he said.
The Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum 2023, held on July 27 and July 28 in St. Petersburg, recorded the participation of 17 heads of state and over 15 African countries.