Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nigerian/South African Business Relationship Deepened

Actis commends Chamber for deepening Nigeria/South African Relationship

The Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) has been commended for its role in deepening the understanding between Nigeria and South Africa.

Speaking at a Breakfast Forum of the Chamber, sponsored by UBA Metropolitan Life Insurance, Mr. Simon Harford, CEO, Actis, while making a presentation on Multilateral Financial Support for Private Sector Development in Nigeria, stated that the Chamber had played a pivotal role in the relationship between business people from both countries, noting that both stood to gain a lot from each other.

He said that the business relationship between Nigeria and South Africa was exciting, and would get more exciting in the next few years, as lots of companies from South Africa now saw reasons to invest in Nigeria, with the success recorded so far by South African companies in Nigeria.

According to Harford, Actis would help to build the image of Nigeria, using the success that it had recorded so far operating in Nigeria. He added that, presently, Actis had investments in seven Nigerian companies.

He revealed that a delegation of South African businessmen would be visiting Nigeria soon to explore areas of investment, observing that South African companies that were not ready to go out and invest in places like Nigeria with its huge potential would soon be left behind.

He stated that Oando Nigeria that was recently listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and Phillips Consulting were some firms from Nigeria that were doing excellently well in South Africa, adding that one of the major problem facing foreign businesses in Nigeria was the lack of skilled manpower as there is a dearth of manpower in some vital areas of the economic, which were vital in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He enjoined the embassies of the respective countries to make the process of issuance of visas to genuine businesspeople faster, as a lot of business opportunities were being lost as a result of the problem of getting visa, especially by Nigerian businesspeople, observing that this snag served as a hindrance between the synergy of the two countries.

In his response, Mr Osayaba Giwa-Osagie, Legal Adviser of the Chamber, called on the government to pay attention to manpower development as there could not be any meaningful development when the necessary skill that was needed for growth was not available, adding that the Chamber would continue to contribute its own quota to the development of both countries.

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