As part of activities lined up for the 2015 edition of its biennial US Trade Mission, the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) will seek to improve bilateral trade and relations between Nigerian business interests and companies based in the USA in the areas of Agriculture, Healthcare and construction, among others. The NACC will also for the first time organise an Award/Gala Night in Atlanta, USA.
Speaking at a press conference held recently to announce the 2015 Trade Mission, the National President of the NACC, Chief Olabintan Famutimi, said that asides providing the body’s members with opportunities of connecting with potential American partners, this year’s Trade Mission will also target Nigerians resident in the USA, with a view to getting them to invest in Nigeria.
He said: “What we have found out is that there are lots of Nigerians in Diaspora that have thriving businesses in the USA. A lot of them want to set up businesses in Nigeria, but they don’t know how to go about it, probably because of the negative publicity about our country. So anywhere we identify as having a high concentration of Nigerians who are now American nationals, we intend to educate and provide them with the necessary information they need to invest here.”
Chief Famutimi also revealed that the NACC plans to establish chapters in the US that will exist as focal points for all of its activities.
He stated: “Just like we have a chapter of the Chamber here in Nigeria, we are identifying places where there are high concentration of Nigerian communities such as Washington, Maryland, Georgia, New York and other areas. These chapters will aid in the promotion of bilateral trade between Nigeria and the US.”
Speaking on the awards, the NACC president noted that they are aimed at recognising the efforts of both Nigerian and American business interests operating in Nigeria.
The award categories are: Commerce and Industry, Leadership, Life Achievement, Media and Culture, Entertainment (Music and Movies), Enterprise and Sports.
On the choice of Washington DC, Chicago and Atlanta as destination points for the 2015 mission, the Vice President of the NACC and Chairman of the 2015 Trade Mission organising committee, Alhaji Abayomi Adigun, said that the states were strategically selected in alignment with the sectors under focus for this year’s mission.
He said: “Washington DC is the seat of government of the United States and it houses all government ministries including offices of diplomats. Chicago is known as the hub of the Agricultural business. In recent times, the body language of the Nigerian government clearly shows more commitment to Agriculture and so we are going to Chicago to attract more investment opportunities in that regard. We will also visit Atlanta where we will host our Awards for the first time.
Alhaji Adigun added: “Our goal is to initiate, encourage and consummate valuable and sustainable B2B Meetings, engagements and partnership networking opportunities, capable of culminating in bringing both direct and indirect foreign investments into our country. Such meetings will also benefit our members in the aforementioned sectors as well as other areas of interest.”
The sectors in focus for the 2015 Trade Mission include; Agriculture, ICT/Telecoms, Healthcare, Financial Services, Construction, Logistics and Power (Renewable Energy).
On the preparations being made to host a successful mission, the Assistant Chairperson of the organising committee, Dr Mary Fosudo, revealed that the Chamber has commenced screening of delegates going on the mission.
She said: “We intend to take 40 delegates who cut across the sectors under focus. Non-members are also welcome to join the delegation. But they have to be admitted into the NACC, go through the screening process and get qualified before we can move them to the next stage. As we speak, the first batch of delegates numbering up to 20 is currently being screened.”
She added that the Chamber is already in talks with an experienced technical partner to assist the delegates to this year’s Trade Mission.
Dr. Fosudo revealed: “Our technical partner in the United States will work on the business profiles of delegates businesses so as to link them to appropriate partners. We expect that some of these activities will lead to consummation of business relationships.”
The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) is Nigeria’s oldest and foremost bi-lateral Chamber. It is a veritable forum for concretely and comprehensively addressing challenges of enhancing Nigerian and American business relations.