Nigeria-Russia Trade Volume Rises 100% in 3 Years to $600m

January 27, 2019
Nigeria-Russia Trade Volume Rises 100% in 3 Years to $600m

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

The volume of trade between Nigeria and Russia has risen to $600 million as at the end of 2018 from $250 million in 2013 and $300 million at the end of 2015.

This means the volume of trade between the African nation and the Eastern European country rose by 140 percent in five years and 100 percent in three years.

Speaking recently at an event organised by the Russian-Nigerian Business Council, Vice-President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Vladimir Padalko, described Nigeria has one of the three largest trade partners of Russia among sub-Saharan African countries.

Business Post reports that Mr Padalko emphasised that more can still be achieved by both nations because the $600 million figure is “still seen as far below the full potential of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.”

However, Mr Padalko pointed to prospective areas including the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and solid minerals, the supply of engineering and chemical products, aircraft technology, cooperation in the nuclear industry, energy, and others.

Dmitry Osipov, Chairman of the Russian-Nigerian Business Council, General Director of PJSC Uralkali (this company is one of the world’s largest producers of potash fertilizers) stressed that the Council regards Africa in general and Nigeria in particular as a promising market.

“The Business Council provides the companies from both countries, regardless of their form of incorporation, with an additional opportunity to expand and diversify business cooperation, including joint investment and business projects. Uralkali is no exception.

“We see Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular as a very promising market where we could implement several projects within the framework of ensuring global food security,” he said.

In this case, the interests of the Russian business and the Nigerian leadership coincided as both chose agriculture as one of the pivotal points of growth of the country’s economy. Osipov informed that the Business Council includes representatives made of thirty-four Russian companies and practically each of them has its own business interests in Nigeria.

However, the range of economic spheres can be extended. And here, the Russian-Nigerian Business Council should play its role, among them identifying the most important tasks, analyzing the existing problems and the development of a consolidated position of domestic business in the areas of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. It also sees as important the organization of business interaction with representatives of Nigerian authorities, the establishment and expansion of business contacts with Nigerian entrepreneurs.

Abuja Chamber of Commerce President, Adetokunbo Kayode, stressed that the history of Russian-Nigerian trade relations, and noted that much has changed. He said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has created a favorable business climate to attract foreign investors to Nigeria. Nigeria is developing rapidly. Now it is the largest market of the continent. The population growth presents a large market for consumer products. Therefore, the presence of Russian business in the heart of Africa is welcomed.

Mercy Haruna, Minister-Counsellor of the Nigerian Embassy in Russia; Rex Essenowo, Chairman of the Russian Branch of Nigerians in the Diaspora in Europe (NIDOE); Kirill Aleshin from the Institute of African Studies; Oleg Svistonov from Rusal Company in Nigeria and other speakers noted the importance of intensifying development of trade and economic relations between Russia and Nigeria.

The NIDOE-Russia was established as a forum for Nigerian professionals residing in Russian Federation to participate in the development of Nigeria. It works closely with the Presidency, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Senate’s Committee on Diaspora Affairs and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The meeting finally made specific proposals on the work of the Business Council. An agreement on cooperation (that aimed at expanding and developing business cooperation between Russian and Nigerian entrepreneurs) was signed between the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Kester Kenn Klomegah frequently writes on Russia, Africa and BRICS.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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