The Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), has announced its appointment of Mr. Obinna Anyanwu as its first Country Head for Nigeria, ahead of next yearâ€™s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
The CWEIC is mandated by 52 Heads of Government to promote trade and investment across the Commonwealth.
It explained in a statement at the weekend, that recognising that Nigeria is vital to this mission, it intends to strengthen its relationship and commitment to Nigerian government and the business community.
In support of Anyanwuâ€™s appointment, CWEICâ€™s CEO Mr. Richard Burge is expected to visit Nigeria this month, to rally business support for greater Commonwealth engagement.
This would be Burgeâ€™s second visit to Nigeria since his appointment in March 2017.
â€œDuring the trip, he will meet key government and business leaders interested in business opportunities across the Commonwealth,â€ the statement added.
CWEIC, in partnership with the UK Government and the City of London, will convene Commonwealth leaders for the 11th Commonwealth Business Forum on 16-18 April 2018 in the United Kingdom.
Eight hundred business leaders and 30 Heads of Government are expected to gather in London to discuss trade and investment.
The Commonwealth Business Forum provides a platform for high-level dialogue between business and government leaders from the Commonwealth and an unequalled opportunity to access new business opportunities from the associationâ€™s 52 member-countries.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to address the Forum and lead a delegation of Nigerian businesses.
â€œA successful Business Forum requires a strong Nigerian delegation representing a diverse range of industries. Nigeria is Africaâ€™s largest economy and a leader in the Commonwealth Business Community. Where Nigerian business goes, others follow.
â€œCWEIC Advisory Board Members including the Governors of Lagos State and Akwa Ibom, Akinwunmi Ambode and Udom Emmanuel, Mr Babatunde Soyoye, Mrs Folorunso Alakija, Mr Chibuike Achigbu, Mr Peter Obi and Mr Greg Ogbeifun have been invited to play key roles at the forum.
â€œAs Africaâ€™s largest oil producer and home to a wealth of natural resources, with a large internal market and a young, energetic population, Nigeria deserves its reputation for creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
â€œIt is imperative that successful and growing Nigerian businesses come forward to support CWEICâ€™s push for greater Commonwealth engagement and contribute to the Commonwealth Business Forum,â€ the statement added.
Commenting on his planned visit to Nigeria, Burge was quoted to have said: â€œThe importance of Nigeria to the Commonwealth cannot be overstated. Having lived for four years in Nigeria, it is one of my personal objectives to strengthen our engagement with the largest and most vibrant economy in Africa.
â€œBy appointing our first County Head for Nigeria, and increasing our activity in Nigeria we aim to ensure the strongest possible Nigerian participation in the Commonwealth Business Forum 2018 and beyond.
â€œCWEIC would encourage senior Nigerian business leaders to apply to become Strategic Partners of CWEIC by contacting Obinna Anyanwu. Strategic Partners will be invited to sit on CWEICâ€™s International Advisory Board and help steer its Nigerian committee.â€