By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The African Union, Economic, Social and Cultural Council, AU ECOSOCC, on Monday, lauded the Ooni of Ile-Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, over move to hold Nigeria Eastern Europe Business Summit, NEEBS, Expo 2020.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Nigeria Representative, 3rd General Assembly, AU ECOSOCC, Oba John.
John in the statement expressed optimism that the four-day expo will bring about trade and investment benefits to both Nigeria and the Balkan States which include Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and Turkey.
According to him, the Nigerian government should take advantage of the Expo amid COVID-19 as a way to boost the nation’s economy, especially the agricultural part of it as far as export trade is concerned with well-articulated discussions and agreements reached with the Balkan States.
The statement reads in part, “It is heartwarming that his Imperial Majesty has shown such passion at not only reviving our culture but passionate about the country’s economy as well.
“With the impact of COVID 19 on the economy, all hands must be on deck to ensure that Nigeria economy is sustained. The efforts of Ooni must not only be emulated by all leaders but he must be encouraged by all means possible.
“It is certain that this business summit is apt and it will open up trade and investment opportunities for Nigerian businessmen and their counterparts from the Balkan States of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and Turkey.”
The statement also added that “With the effects of COVID 19 on World Economy, trades among countries will be one of the major ways of resuscitating the economy and Africa is a major focus, hence Nigeria must take advantage of this as investors from these countries will be looking at the opportunities presented by the Nigerian population and are looking forward to closing deals with Nigerian businessmen in the areas of productive partnerships; strategic business collaborations; and, endorsement deals.
“His Imperial Majesty has taken a bold step and the government must take advantage of this summit to win more investors to develop its agriculture and solid mineral sectors,” he said.
According to the statement, there will be a funding workshop, which will lead to access to investment funding for viable ongoing business projects, as $1 billion Open Line of Credit has been made available.
However, the state appealed to the organizers to make allow other African countries to have access to the proposed $1 billion Open Line of Credit and should be encouraged to participate as well.