USNC seeks partnership with Nigerian businessmen
The US Nigeria Council (USNC) has unveiled plans to create partnerships between Nigerian and American businesses to forge a backbone of strong bilateral ties for the two nations.
The Council is also set to advance diversification and job creation in Nigeria. In a statement made available to The Guardian, the council will also develop partnerships, investments, and develop capacity in the agro-allied and food, infrastructure, oil and gas, and technology sectors.
The co-host of the launch dinner and co-chair of the Council, John Coumantaros, noted that the US Nigeria Council was formed to bring US and Nigerian businesses together in developing catalytic projects that will develop capacity and accelerate economic diversification in Nigeria.
He further stated that this council is unique among Councils because it is business to business focused. Honorary Co-Chair Ambassador, John Negroponte, former Director of National Intelligence in the US, spoke about the vast opportunities for transformative projects during his welcoming remarks.
Also a co-host and co-Chair, Uche Orji, described the work of the council as building “a much-needed bridge of trust between US and Nigerian companies and creating a pipeline of new projects for investors that advance the development goals of Nigeria over the short, medium and long term.”
In his remarks, Ambassador Symington, noted that the Council would play a leading role in further strengthening the good ties between the two countries. In closing, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele emphasized that the council was timely and was a useful intervention towards the diversification of Nigeria’s economy and pledged his ongoing support.
The launch dinner was attended by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington; the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; the US Counsel General, John Bray; and leaders of Nigeria’s blue chip companies and major US investors. Other Nigerian businessmen at the event are: Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Oba Oteduko of Honeywell Group, Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank, Herbert Wigwe of Access Bank, Akinsowon Dawodu of Citibank Nigeria, Adewale TInubu of Oando, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede of WAPIC, Abdulsamad Rabiu of BUA Group and others.
US businesses represented at the launch by senior executives included Dow Chemical Company, Chevron, UPS, Procter & Gamble, ExxonMobil and Uber, Coca Cola and 7Up through their bottlers. Among the leading investors at the event were Emerging Capital Partners, Development Partners International, Greenwish Capital and The Carlyle Group.
The Council also boasts of young entrepreneurs who have started companies in technology, agri-business, e-commerce and education, including Tomato Jos, Mall for Africa and Andela.
USNC, which already has an office in Washington DC, will establish an office in Lagos in the coming month. These offices will support US companies that want to invest in the Nigerian market and Nigerian companies seeking partners and financial backers in the United States. The Council will measure its success by the strength of the partnerships formed, investments generated, capacity developed, jobs created, and exporting relationships made.
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