By Akoma Chinweoke
The Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria , Nik Mustapha Kamal Nik Ahmad, is optimistic that with greater and concerted efforts by all, the Nigeria-Malaysia Business Council, bilateral relations would experience a qualitative change.
The High Commisioner, who, disclosed this ahead of this year’s Malaysia-Africa Palm Oil Trade Fair and Investment Seminar with the theme, Maximizing Africa’s Potential: Seizing New Opportunities’, however, noted that agriculture is one area where Nigeria can diversify its economy from being too dependent on mineral oil.
According to him, the forthcoming visit by his country’s Minister of Plantation, Industries and Commodities to Lagos in connection with the Palm Oil Trade Fair and Investment seminar, scheduled for December 12, at the Federal Palace Hotel Victoria Island, is a good opportunity for both countries to collaborate in agriculture especially in oil palm plantationand processing. “I would like to take this opportunity to seek the support of Nigeria-Malaysia Business Council to make POTS Nigeria in Lagos a success.”
In the area of trade, he said the total trade registered stood at RM815.2 million in 2010 representing a drop of 16 percent compared to RM974.84 million in 2009 while the balance of trade in 2010 was at RM143 million in Malaysia’s favour.
He noted that Malaysia’s exports to Nigeria decreased significantly (44% drop) from RM855.81 million to RM 479.1 million in 2009. Major export items were chemicals, electrical products, machinery, manufactures of metals and plastics, processed food and palm oil.
The value of imports from Nigeria he said increased however from RM119.03 million in 2009 to RM336.1 million in 2010 while main import items were agricultural products, metalliferous ores and scraps, sawn logs, timber and transport equipment.
Also speaking, the co-founder and deputy president of the council, Dr. Michael Aderohunmu ,said Nigeria is aware that it needs to do more to achieve self sustainable level in food production and greater output from other agricultural product like palm oil ,cassava etc..
He explained that Nigeria-Malaysia Business Council has created the platform to develop business relationship for existing and new members.