The meeting was opened by Mr. Dmitry Konyaev, Chairman of the Russia-Nigeria Business Council, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Uralchem JSC.
In his opening speech, Mr. Alexander Kopkov, Director of the Department of External Relations of the RF CCI, noted the important place that Nigeria occupies in Russia's foreign trade and confirmed the interest of Russian entrepreneurs to work together with Nigerian business. According to him, Africa occupies a special place in Russia's business cooperation with foreign countries, emphasizing the important role of business councils in this cooperation and especially the role of the African Coordinating Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries. In this regard, Alexander Kopkov stressed the importance of coordinating work in various areas of Russian business in Africa.
The Nigerian Ambassador, prof. Abdullahi Shehu, who spoke at the meeting, spoke about the importance of increasing trade turnover between our countries. The activities of the Russian-Nigerian Business Council, the Ambassador said, contribute to the development of the economies of the two countries. "There are risks for business in any part of the world, but I really want businessmen to see the real potential of Nigeria, not just the risks. We must open Nigeria to Russians and Russia to Nigerians," the head of the Nigerian diplomatic mission said.
Mr. Stanislav Mezentsev, Executive Director of AFROCOM, said that the most important task of his organization today is to help businesses return to the African continent and coordinate the movement of Russian business to Africa. He expressed his conviction that Nigeria is by far the most attractive country for Russian business in Africa.
Mr. Uwem Sampson, chairman of the Russian chapter of the "Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization", proposed that a working group consisting people from relevant organizations such as the CCI, Russian Export Center, Vnesheconombank, Afrocom and others should be established to quickly create a road map for Russia’s involvement in the African arena. He further stressed that the road map will be an essential tool for the Russian government agencies responsible for international trade and investment to guide Russian companies willing to do business in Africa.
Dr. Bashir Obasekola, chairman of NIDO Europe urged the Russian companies to work with NIDO as a lead to discovering the opportunities the Nigerian market presents, while the immediate past chairman of NIDO Russia, Mr. Rex Essenowo emphasized the need for a time frame to be placed on all the decisions made
During the meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the Russia-Nigeria Business Council was elected. Following the results of the voting, Konstantin Anastasiadi, Chairman of the Commission on Africa of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sibneftegaz, was elected Deputy Chairman of the Business Council.
During the informational and presentational part of the meeting, Ms. Anastasia Deriglazova spoke about the increase in the number of internet users and accessibility in Nigeria, she described the Information Technology sector as one of the best areas to invest in Nigeria at this time, while Mr. Kirill Alyoshin, a representative of the Institute of Africa in the Russian Academy of Sciences and Mr. Maksim Dorotov, the Director General of Sology Group and others spoke on the statistics of trade and the various efforts that they are making to trade with Nigeria and how they are encouraging other companies to join in doing business with Nigeria.
At the meeting, the draft calendar plan of the Russia-Nigeria Business Council for 2022 was adopted. The plan basically focuses on organizing six sectoral business sessions in Russia and Nigeria.