Developing Economic Cooperation between Nigeria and Russia

Nigeria-Russia trade relations have been highly beneficial to both countries. A report disclosed that in 2022, Nigeria had a large net trade with Russia in the exports of Vegetable Products ($4.71million), Foodstuffs ($86.8k), and Chemical Products ($4.39million). Still in 2022, Russia had a large net trade with Nigeria in the exports of Mineral Products ($247million), Animal Products ($160million), and Vegetable Products ($71.4million).

It was on the premise of the inherent benefits of the foregoing, and the need to continue leveraging the trade relations between both countries that a conference was organised recently in Abuja on April 25, in Abuja, with the theme: ‘International business cooperation in the field of trade and investment between Nigeria and Russia’.
The event was organised by the Centre for Economic Ideas, Educational Support and Consulting (Nigeria), a subsidiary of Civarol International Limited (Nigeria) and the G3 International Alliance (Russia).
The main goal of the joint business conversation was to create the necessary platform for effective economic interaction and further strengthen business relations between Nigeria and Russia.
The conference took place at the Nigerian Institute of Public Service and was held in a hybrid format. The line-up of speakers was very diverse and interesting as participants were addressed by investors and players from the business community of both countries. The conference provided fruitful deliberations and insight about business, trade and investments between both countries.
At the end of the opening ceremony, the participants moved on to the work programme.
Earlier in his remarks, the Dean, College of Social Sciences and Management, Gregory University, Dr. Samson Nzeribe, shed light on the activities of small and medium-sized businesses involved in Nigerian-Russian economic relations.

On his part, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Administration and Management, Crawford University, Dr. Esu Ossai-Igwe Lucky, corroborated the views of Nzeribe, while drawing attention to the issues of export and interaction between both countries in terms of innovation, technology and highly qualified specialists in this field.

In his remarks, economist from Oduduwa Ipetumodu University, Dr. Ohiara Cyril, gave an insightful presentation on the topic: ‘Regional Economic Integration as a Policy for Russia-Nigeria Relations’.
While a fellow colleague from Abia State University, who is the Head of Economics Department, Sir Ben Otbonna, beamed a searchlight on the issues of global economic integration of the two countries.

THISDAY learnt that there were many other outstanding performances by representatives from Nigeria. The speakers dealt lot on the issues of security, foreign exchange transactions and control, the lack of certain financial standards, and government participation in small and medium-sized (SMEs) businesses, and the strategic economic partnership with Russia.
It was also gathered at the event that Nigerians today are waiting for Russian business ideas, investment projects, plans for the development of joint energy, trade, logistics and other programmes, including the construction of a nuclear power plant in Nigeria.
Several reports were also made from the Russian side, which aroused great interest among the participants and guests of the event. Head of the Center for Southeast Asia, Australia and Oceania at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Dmitry Mosyakov, highlighted the role of Nigeria on the African continent.
According to him, “The process of the second liberation of Africa from the colonialists is underway. Nigeria is the main country in the region, which striving for stability, security and economic growth. The United States must stop hindering Nigeria’s economic growth.”
Mosyakov gave a detailed report using the example of Indonesia, which played a key role in Southeast Asia, adding that over the years, Nigeria has exported fuel and petroleum products, fertilizers, cocoa beans and their products, cotton and natural rubber, raw animal hides and skins, and oilseeds.

He alleged that American firms still operate the country’s gold mines, noting that in Nigeria, uranium deposits have been discovered in six states (Cross River, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau, Bauchi and Kano).
Mosyakov quoted the words of S. Lavrov: that ‘Nigeria is the first country in Africa to be a Nuclear uranium power’, but it should not allow a nuclear contract with unscrupulous members of the nuclear club.”
Alexander Chikashov, a student at the Faculty of International Relations at MGIMO University of the Russian Foreign Ministry, outlined the prospects for Russia’s cooperation with African countries in the 21st century.
An interesting message was given by the Rector of the International Institute of Health, Chairman of the Consortium for the Development of Innovative, Educational and Health-Saving Technologies, Master of Economics A.I. Medvedeva.
Medvedeva averred that for the stable development of African countries, social stability and the manifestation of soft, but constantly felt by the population, state care in terms of education, healthcare, social protection and the maintenance of traditional values are becoming especially important.

Continuing, he added: “At the same time, the use of new technologies in the field of education is certainly required to increase the efficiency of public, corporate and private investments, to introduce an integrated approach that allows the use of a single infrastructure for the needs of the economy, education, health care and the development of social structures of African countries. There is need for Russian language on the sunny continent.
“In addition to oil, natural gas, uranium and gold, Nigeria has deposits of various minerals, such as: coal, lignite and coke, iron ore, tin, bitumen, lithium; tantalum, columbite, wolframite, rare earth and precious metals, natural building materials. The domestic mining industry is underdeveloped, resulting in Nigeria having to import minerals it could produce domestically, such as salt or iron ore.”
A report was made by the Director of JSC Tomko, Geologist of the Russian Federation, Valery Rostovtsev, who demonstrated a video presentation of his company and its technological capabilities for assessing the prospects for oil and gas content of territories. Currently, the oil sector is a priority in Nigeria.
A.N. Dmitrievsky, scientist, Doctor of Geological Sciences,Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Member of the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation.
President of the Public and Commercial Holding Avangard, Co-Founder of the G3 International Alliance, Valery Kalyuzhny made a presentation on the topic: “The International Alliance as a platform for the development of international trade relations.”
There were also representatives of the International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region. Entrepreneur Dr. Solomon Garden, who represented the government trade department in Abuja. He presented a work at the conference that was centred on: ‘Mutual Interest of Small and Medium Businesses between Nigeria and Russia’.
He disclosed the importance of creating business communities in Russia and Nigeria, which would include enterprises and firms, individual citizens, activities which is associated with trade, production, provision of services, investments, banking.

The Co-Founder of the Smart Thinker Group of Schools in Osun State, Dr. Su, focused his presentation on the Russia-Nigeria energy strategy, the development of the fuel and energy complex, support for innovative entrepreneurship and research work in the economic sphere.
The reports evoked a lively, interested reaction from the audience, many questions were asked, and a very useful and friendly exchange of views took place. And of course, as happens at events of this level, fresh ideas, new contacts and agreements arose.

According to Su: “As you know, Russia has decisively turned its gaze towards the sunny continent; in the last two or three years, and mutual diplomatic activity in relations with African States has noticeably increased, while trade and economic cooperation is being built. And I must say that Nigeria is a very interesting and promising partner for us. In terms of population, it ranks first in Africa and sixth in the world – according to the 2022 census, 243 million people live in the country. In the period from 1912 to 1960, Nigeria was a colony of Great Britain, but having freed itself from colonial dependence, it became a federal state with a presidential form of government.”
THISDAY gathered that in terms of its economic structure, Nigeria can still be classified as an agricultural country, but there are large proven reserves of hydrocarbons and minerals, and oil, gas, coal, and tin are being extracted in the country.
It was further revealed from the conference that the country has enterprises producing palm oil, cotton, rubber, timber, textiles, fertilizers and other chemical products. Even the production of cars for the domestic market, produced under the IVM brand, has been established.
It was learnt that but like any developing country, Nigeria is interested in importing technology and equipment, industrial and consumer electronics, agricultural and construction equipment, high-quality building materials, consumer goods and much more.
The prospects for cooperation between Nigeria and Russia are truly enormous; the two countries have everything for mutually beneficial, long-term trade and economic relations.
According to THISDAY findings, the country can also be interesting as a tourism destination because it is located in the west of the African continent, washed by the waves of the Atlantic Ocean and has a variety of landscapes: tropical forests, savannas, waterfalls.
It can be stated that Nigeria is similar to Russia in that it is also a multinational and multi-religious state – more than 500 different peoples, nationalities and tribes live here with their own unique traditions, customs and languages, but the state language is English. So, there is no insurmountable language barrier in communicating with local residents, and the attitude towards tourists in the country is friendly and welcoming. Approximately half of Nigerians profess Sunni Islam, and half adhere to Christianity-Anglicanism, Catholicism and Protestantism. Representatives of the different ethnic groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo) and religions live in peace.
The conference provided opportunity for businessmen find a common language, and common affairs to lie ahead. The keynote of the forum was the idea that two friendly countries-Russia and Nigeria have all the prerequisites for developing and deepening cooperation in all areas.
Nigeria is a developing State, and for a long time, the country’s economy was negatively affected by internal conflicts and high corruption. At the same time, the country has great potential and is also rich in labor and natural resources. Now an important goal for Nigeria is to maintain peace, security and stability in the region, as well as participate in dialogue on threats to regional security.

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