By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Some South African businessmen and companies are in Nigeria to consider putting their money in the nation’s economy.
The South African business delegation taking part in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OSM) in Nigeria continued their search for trade and investment opportunities in different sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The delegation visited Lekki Free Trade Zone, a privately-owned free trade zone outside Lagos as part of the site visit programme.
South Africa’s Foreign Economic Representative (FER) in Nigeria, Mr Calvin Phume said it was important to expose the South African business delegation to the likes of Lekki Free Trade Zone in order to showcase the vast opportunities available across the Nigerian economic sectors where they can look into setting up public-private partnerships and joint-ventures.
“Opportunities are abound in Nigeria. South Africa has taken a conscious decision to partner with Nigeria during their development phases and that Nigeria, like most countries in Africa, presents a wealth of business opportunities for South African companies,” said Mr Phume.
He added that the visit was an opportunity to continue pursuing economic collaboration and partnerships with Nigeria, and crafting the way forward for sustainable economic development and the development of investment in the African continent.
General Marketing Manager of Lekki Free Trade Zone, Mr Oyewole Adegoke, said there were efforts to market Nigeria by focusing on key economic sectors as identified by government.
Mr Adegoke said he was delighted to host a business delegation from South Africa and to disseminate information on current investment opportunities in the free trade zone to SA businesspeople.
“Our aim is to market Nigeria’s economic potential to investors across the world, as a private organisation working closely with the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) and its stakeholders,” said Mr Adegoke.
He added that it would be of benefit for South Africa and Nigeria to have South African companies operating from the free trade zone as preferential policies and incentives granted to investors are aimed at easing doing business in Nigeria.
General Manager at Dermacell Cosmetics and Healthcare, manufacturers and suppliers of skincare products using Aloe Ferox as its main ingredient, Mr Junior Mokgapi said that setting up a manufacturing facility in the free trade zone would allow his products to penetrate Nigeria, opening a market into the West Africa region.
“Nigeria is one of the biggest economies in Africa. If one can crack it into Nigerian market and conduct business, then the rest of Africa has no boundaries,” said Mr Mokgapi.
Founder of Valotech 228, a supplier of rail signalling design and construction, installation and rail maintenance solutions, electrical installations, and mechanical design, Ms Dorothy Mofomme said her main objective for coming to Nigeria was to try and penetrate the market and fill the gaps.
“We noticed that there is a need for rail infrastructure development, especially with all the critical infrastructure projects and activities going on here. Setting up shop in the free trade zone would be advantageous as all rail, roads and ports are in close proximity,” said Mr Mofomme.
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