FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06.12.16 12 NOON
On Tuesday, 29th November 2016 at the Bulgari Hotel, Knightsbridge, London - Nigerian infrastructure consultants Grolla Port Services (GPS) sponsored the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Ministry of Transport’s inaugural Business Investment Forum which was themed ”Open-For-Business”.
The Public Private Partnership Forum hosted by the Federal Ministry of Transportation
(MOT), and chaired by the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, had the following CEOs of the integral Transport agencies in attendance;
- Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority; Ms. HadizaBala Usman represented by General Manager Mrs Cecilia Akin Bayo.
- Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority; Mr. Boss Gida Mustapha.
- Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; Dr.Dakuku Peterside.
- Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation; Engineer Freeborn Okhiria.
- Executive Secretary of Shippers' Council; Mr. Hassan Bello.
The objective of the business investment forum wasto actively engage leading transport and transport security companies in UK, Europe and Asia by inviting them to come and do business by investing in the Transportation sector of the Nigerian economy as well as other key sectors.
The UK Government counterparts were led by Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Transport (Minister for Aviation) Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon. The delegation also included:
- UK’s Export Finance Head of Business Development For Africa; Mr. Sam Hoexter.
- United Kingdom's Acting Deputy High Commissioner & Director, UK Trade & Investment, Nigeria; Mr. Ahmed Bashir MBE.
- UK's Trade Envoy to Nigeria John Howell MP
All of the above played a part in the Forum by either speaking or being involved in the panel discussions.
The Forum was moderated by EMC3’sChairman Baba Epega as GPS CEO,Mr Graham-Olusanmi Lawal welcomed over 80 International Captains of Industry that were keen to expand or start business relationships with the Nigerian government & businesses alike.
The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon. Rotimi Amaechi opened proceedings by speaking of a progressive government policy of inter-ministerial harmonisation and dialogue that can help maximise and leverage the national infrastructural enhancement campaign. The Minister also spoke about actualised government policies that touched all core ministries, where Nigeria specifically was ripe for foreign direct investments and UK’s need to re-address their unique relationship with Nigeria after slipping to 5th behind China, US, India and Germany in inbound investments, more importantly now that the postBrexit era could open more opportunities through the Commonwealth organisation. After this, Lord Ahmad spoke and assured the Minister and all that UK was well aware of the importance of Nigeria not only in Africa or the world but to the UK government and businesses, and that concerted efforts are already being made both by the UK Government and businesses to better this position. Lord Ahmad also spoke on the close historical ties of both countries and peoples socially, culturally and economically.
Moderated by Mr Baba Epega ,both ministers spoke cordially and frankly about business challenges, opportunities, solutions, visa statuses and government policy areas being implemented for ease of doing business.
Both agreed that a more direct dialogue platform was being augmented to help businesses access opportunities and capital to increase and foster bi-lateral business relations.
The panel discussions participated by both Ministers’ delegations in the afore-mentioned list above; detailed the importance of more involvement of the private sector, increased public private partnership opportunities ranging from establishment of ship building yards, flat-bottom boats for waterways, ports fencing, modernization of transportation systems, ship breaking yards, railway infrastructure and logistics, powersourcing as well as enumerating the various channels for businesses to access financing from the UK.
After this session many business delegates took part in a well-coordinated and productive face-to-face (one on one) meetings session with Minister Amaechi, the CEOs of the Transport agencies and with their other UK counterparts.
The forum was closed by GPS’ CEO, Mr Graham-OlusanmiLawal who thanked all parties for their promptness, participation and willingness to seize opportunities and welcomed them all to join him again same time next year.
The outcome of the MOT business investment forum was the real and active engagement of the different arms and agencies of the UK and Nigerian Transportation sector in consultation with potential public and private partnership prospects. Congruent to these are the development of actionable objectives and positive steps toward strengthening existing and developing new businesses for bilateral cooperation needed for promotion of businesses and investments into the Nigerian transportation sector.
A formidable day of communication and positive business was very evident at the investment forum.
Press release 14 December 2016