Lawson Leads US-Nigeria Trade Council Delegation to USA


The Chairperson for the Advisory Board of the US-Nigeria Trade Council, Mrs. Iyalode Alaba Lawson will lead a trade delegation to Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America (USA).

The trade delegation is coming on the heels of her recent appointment into the council.

Slated for November, 2017 the US-Nigeria Agriculture Business Investment Summit is expected to attract participants across the globe with some key players in Nigeria attending.

The move is seen in some quarters as part of the policy and strategic efforts to improve trade traffic between the USA and Nigeria.

It is on record that the Federal Government since President Mohammadu Buhari took the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2015 has stepped up the campaign for the diversification of the Nigerian economy with agriculture taking the centre stage.

Not a few stakeholders in the maritime industry and beyond see the US-Nigeria Agriculture Business Investment Summit as an avenue to further promote the economic diversification agenda of the Buhari administration.

Former USA Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS and presently, the chief executive officer (CEO), FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative, Dr. Robins R. Sanders is expected to give a keynote address and engage with participants at the summit.

The organisers in a statement obtained by THISDAY said the summit is planned to promote business enterprise at SME and government levels between the USA and Nigeria; develop bilateral business partnerships, attract foreign investors; promote USA goods and services in Nigeria as well as promote Nigeria goods and services to the American markets.

“It would be an excellent opportunity to weigh in on modern farming methods, fisheries, poultry, agric-tourism, aqua farming and the use of relevant modern technologies for large scale farming. Expected attendees will include business leaders, senior government officials, companies CEOs and executives, investors as well as ICT innovators in business and agricultural industries. There will be exhibitions from major agro-allied businesses”, the statement added.

In her remarks, the Vice President, US-Nigeria Trade Council, Mrs. Affi Israel Ibanga enjoined Nigerians to take full advantage of the investment summit by participating actively.

“We have a lot to gain by our active involvement in this summit. That is why I am using this opportunity to encourage everyone to come on board”, she said.

On his part, the Executive Director/CEO, US-NigeriaTrade Council, Mr. Titus Olowokere described the summit as a welcome development.

According to him, since the President Mohammadu Buhari is championing the diversification of the economy, the summit could not have come at a better time.

An entrepreneur and academician, Lawson is the proprietor of Lawson Group of Schools and Chairman, Abestone Microfinance Bank Limited.

She has served in several positions in the private and public sectors. These include the Chairman Board of Governing Council, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Ogun State (MAPOLY); Fellow, Institute of Directors (IoD), Justice of Peace (JP); and Council Member, Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC).

The idea of the first female President of NACCIMA heading the delegation was not unconnected with the fact that Lawson is seen as a mentor, advocate, chair and supporter of the US-Nigeria Trade Council.

It said the council is dedicated to strengthening and enriching the vehicle of investment and trade between the USA and Nigeria. It provides a bilateral forum on key economic, commercial and professional initiatives, as well as business opportunities of interest to American companies operating in or exploring business opportunities in Nigeria, as well as Nigerian companies planning trade ties and business expansion to the USA market.

Its core agenda is built around three interdependent themes including the establishment of linkages, policy input and advocacy to increase bilateral trade and investment between USA and Nigeria; interchange with the American business community on the resources that abound in Nigeria, generating trade, tourism and foreign investment in Nigeria; promote internationalization of Nigerian businesses, products and services to the USA marketplace.