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NACCIMA seeks Russia’s help on Ajaokuta Steel



The National vice President of the Nigerian Association of chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Adetokunbo Kayode, has said Nigeria is ready to do business with Russia to boost its economy.

Kayode also called on Russia to assist Nigeria towards resuscitating the Ajaokuta Steel Mill to expedite the country’s industrialisation.

He made the appeal while addressing a delegation of Russian Companies Chief Executive Officers during their visit to the office of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo in Abuja.

He said, “Nigeria is always ready and willing to do business with Russia to ensure that our economy moves to the next level. I want to also use this opportunity to state that there is need for the Russian Government to assist Nigeria towards resuscitating the Ajaokuta Steel Industry to fast track the country’s industrialisation.”

The Ajeokuta Steel Company, which was established in 1979, is yet to commence full operations in its over 42 years despite several failed attempts at privatisation and concessions by the government.

Speaking further, Kayode noted that mutual collaboration was also needed in the areas of defence, mining, agriculture and livestock value chain among others.

 He equally called for the establishment of Nigerian Russian Export Free Zones to boost export of products among both countries and other nations of the world.

Also speaking, the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Abdullahi Shehu, who led the Russian delegation to the minister disclosed that 19 Russian companies had already indicated interest to invest in various areas of Nigeria economy.

He expressed the hope that move would go a long way to enhance national economic development.

The ambassador promised to continue to attract Russian investors to Nigeria to assist small and medium-scale businesses in the country.

In a remark, the Chairman, Nigerian In Diaspora Organisation, Mr Uwem-edimo Sampson, said plans were underway to establish a servicing centre for Russian manufacturers in the country, which would serve as link between companies from the two countries.

He stated that this would go a long way to enhance industrialization in Nigeria.

On his part, the minister of trade stressed the need for a closer relationship between the two countries, while assuring them of a conducive business environment for Russian investors.

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