The Bank of Industry (BOI) has encouraged investors from Dubai to harness the investment possibilities that the Nigerian business environment provides. In buttressing its position, the Bank insists that both countries are yet to optimise the vast business opportunities that exist in both economies, pointing out the need to deepen trade ties between Nigeria and Dubai.
The Managing Director, BOI, Olukayode Pitan, at a meeting with the Dubai trade mission to Nigeria, said there are also opportunities for Nigerian companies to do lots of businesses leveraging on the capabilities of Dubai.
According to him, Nigeria has a lot to benefit from Dubai, saying that Dubai has been able to transform their economy by prioritizing investments on infrastructural development.
“Nigeria has a very large Muslim population. Entrepreneurs who are Muslims can key into food market in Dubai, because it is a huge market, but people are not even aware of that market. If we explore both markets, there is a lot of value creation that could be achieved”, he added.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Fahad Al-taffaq, expressed UAE’s readiness to deepen economic ties with Nigeria towards promoting investment and trade between both countries.
Al-taffag said both countries had certain similarities and opportunities that could be explored to boost trade and investment by leveraging on technology, innovation and youthful energy across all sectors.
“Over the past 15 years, our total bilateral non-oil trade growth witnessed a 17 percent increase reaching about $1.7 billion in 2017.
“More than 20 Nigerian trademarks are registered with the Ministry of Economy in Dubai,” he said. He said the Nigerian investment in the UAE had risen to about $120 million across all sectors in 2016, due to the ease of doing business policy of the federal government. He said there were huge opportunities for both economies to achieve more with deeper synergies:
“To achieve that, it is imperative to establish the right legislative infrastructure by defining the investment protection and promotion agreement to reduce stress between investors from both countries. The economic outlook is not defined by the limits of the past but liberated by the positivity of the future.”
“We have the mind, the capability and the will; this is the time to unleash our potential to reach beyond business as usual, to push the boundaries of partnership and fast forward to a bright and progressive future for both nations.”
Also speaking at the event, the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Muda Yusuf, said both countries have similarities, but stressed that the volume of trade between the two countries is still very low.
Yusuf said: “With closer cooperation between the private sectors, the trade volume could be improved. There are tremendous opportunities for cooperation and investment relations in infrastructure development especially power and engineering infrastructure”.
He assured that the chamber would extend all necessary support to improve trade and investment relations between Nigeria and Dubai. He implored Nigerian businesses to take advantage of the meeting to broaden the scope of their businesses.