Nigeria-Russia trade: Saraki tasks private sector on growth up

Dr. Bukola Saraki

 A former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called on the private sector to strive hard to grow Nigeria’s economy, in the light of the country’s trade relations with Russia.

The former Senate President made the call on Tuesday in during the official inauguration of Nigeria-Russia Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

He urged the private sector to take opportunity of the inauguration to deliver the country from the shackles of  economic mishaps.

According to him,  Nigeria has been yearning for a close trade relationship with countries with better economies.

He noted that the country needed a platform like the inauguration of Nigeria-Russia Chambers of Commerce and Industry for businesses  to grow.

“This is a beginning of a new page.

The private sector must seize this opportunity to grow Nigeria’s business environment,” he said.

In his welcome remark, President of the Nigeria-Russia Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, noted the low volume of trade between Nigeria and Russia.

He stated that Nigeria ought to be the number one trade partner of Russia in Africa, going by enormous resources available in the country.

According to Okonkwo, Russia did what they were supposed to do in the Ajaokuta steel company in the 70s when Nigeria first established trade relations with the European country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Okonkwo is the governorship candidate for Zenith Labour Party in the Nov. 6 Anambra governorship election.

He noted that Nigeria lacked sustainability and maintenance  which had resulted in the dilapidation of the Ajaokuta steel company.

“Russia trained a lot of Nigerians back then.“We are happy today that the Russians are hungry to start dealing with Nigeria again.

“If am able to win the governorship seat in Anambra , we are going to open the state to Russia for the development of the state, in terms of trade relationship,” he said.

Also, Dr Uchechukwu Ogah, Minister of State for Mines and Steel, expressed delight over  Russia’s willingness to renew the trade relationship with Nigeria.

He said that Nigeria had been in the need of the relationship, adding that such would help Nigeria get closer to the realisation of its potential.According to Ogah, Nigeria is eager to see Ajaokuta Mines and Steel company come back to life fully.

He noted that when back fully, the steel company would create 500, 000 jobs for the country.

Ogah stated that Nigeria had over 44 mineral resources, which he called minerals of the future, that would benefit the country in so many ways

“Nigeria has so much potentials in terms of mineral resources.

Within the shortest possible time, we want to come out of our commatose mineral challenges in terms of exploitation.

“We are glad for this relationship, we will support this relationship from our ministry to ensure it sees the light of the day,” he said .Amb. Oleg Ozerov, Russia Envoy/Head of Russia delegation, noted that Nigeria had a lot of people with the energy to make the trade relationship work.

Ozerov stated that Russian companies were ready to provide competency, urging Nigerians to make the potential of the Nigeria-Russia trade relationship a favourable one.

“We need each other. This association must work together. We could build cooperation in different fields and not only in oil and gas,” he said. (NAN) 

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