Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari renewed economic diplomatic shuttle to Japan and Russia later in the year as a commendable step in line with the dictate of Nigeria’s economic growth plan and demands of the new Africa free trade policy.
In a statement issued by the President of the ACCI, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, the President’s trip to Japan was described as “a rewarding exercise in Nigeria’s drive to advance her economic interest and to lead Africa as the biggest economy and population.
“We must commend the President for providing the neccesary leadership for Africa in Japan as he participated in several sideline meetings which yielded positive agreements especially in terms of placing Nigeria’s economic interest in the frontline of discourse. The consolidation of mutually beneficial ties with the Japanese is not lost on the business stakeholders.
“More critically is that the President support Japanese alternative programme for African infrastructural renewal which empasises quality rather than quantity of infrastructural projects on the continent. While in Japan, the President also held bilateral talks with the South African President, a meeting very critical because of recent threats to Nigerian businesse in South Africa”, Prince Kayode said.
He recalled that the President had secured a major Japanese support for the upgrade of power transmission facilities in Lagos, noting that the Japanese trip will consolidate and deepen infrastrucure support for Nigeria from the Japanese government.
“Economic diplomacy is the watchword now in global diplomacy. As our President is firming up deals in Japan, he will no doubt pursue this diplomacy further by attending the Russian Africa Forum in October 2019. As President Buhari has also reached out to Germany which signed a major power deal with Nigeria few weeks ago, the natural next point of call is Russia to advance our steel, mining, defence and manufacturing sectors”, the ACCI president noted.
While commending the President for implementing a paradigm shift in the national economic focus of Nigeria, Kayode advocated continued pursuit of the new policy shift by Presidential attendance of the October 2019 Russia Africa forum in Sochi Russia, noting that ” Nigeria must be present to anchor our national interests as well as provide leadership for Africa”.