It was a brainstorming session last Saturday when stakeholders and top business magnates met at Angola-Nigeria Diplomatic-Business Investment organised by the Angola-Nigeria Business Council.
Notable personalities that spoke at the event held at the prestigious Radisson Blu, Victoria Island, Lagos include Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Former senate president, Olusola Saraki, notable businesswoman and architect, Princess Fifi Ejindu, Edem Duke, Segun Awolowo, Vice President of the Council, Engineer Antonio dos Santos Domingos, among several others.
The former President, Obasanjo called for increased bilateral relations between Nigeria and Angola.
Obasanjo, who was also a special guest of honour at the event, said the meeting focused on the potential for enhanced collaboration between the two countries.
According to him, the meeting also emphasises the need to boost trade volume within Africa, which reflects a commitment to advancing economic partnerships on the continent.
The former President advised that attention should be on African countries’ benefits from their own products, as it aligns with the goal of promoting intra-African trade and economic self-sufficiency.
He expressed concerns about infrastructural deficits, particularly in transportation and highlighted the challenges that needed to be addressed to facilitate seamless trade between nations.
“One of the things the leaders of the post-independence achieved is to promote the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA),” he said.
Also, the Secretary of the National Action Committee of AFCFTA, Nigeria, Olusegun Awolowo, said the lack of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between Nigeria and Angola underscored the untapped potential for economic engagement between the two largest oil exporters in Africa.
“Sadly, there is no Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between Nigeria and Angola. This means trade between the two biggest oil exporters is zero, and this is not good enough.
“Angola is importing from the rest of the world what it can actually get from Nigeria and Nigeria doing likewise, we should trade between ourselves.
“Comparatively, we supply what they don’t have and they also supply what we don’t have. Former President Obasanjo has mentioned some areas that need more collaboration.
“It’s true we have some infrastructural deficits which both government and the private organisations can also latch on to invest,” he said.
Speaking on the efforts to address trade barriers and streamline visa processes, the President of the Angola-Nigeria Business Council, Fifi Ejindu, called for a positive step toward fostering smoother trade ties between Nigeria and Angola.
According to her, the support from Angolan government authorities further reinforces the potential for progress in this regard.
Princess Ejindu said that the engagement of Nigerian investors and the anticipated business activations in Angola indicated growing interest and participation in the trade initiatives discussed.
Armando Manuel, a former Minister of Finance in Angola, said that a positive assessment of the recent diplomatic-business investment meeting signalled the fruitful nature of the discussions and the potential for tangible outcomes in the near future.
“We are awaiting Nigerian investors to come to Angola because we already have the expertise in various sectors.
Saraki, who is also a patron of the council, encouraged that stakeholders of the council in Angola and Nigeria should walk the talk and commence action immediately to encourage investment between the two countries.