President of the Atlanta World Trade Centre, Max Sutherland, has announced plans to lead a business mission to Nigeria.
Mr Sutherland made the announcement at the 2019 USA-Nigeria Business and Investment Summit, which ended in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday night.
He was one of several American business leaders, who expressed interest in Nigeria after engaging with federal and state officials from the country at the event.
The three-day forum was organised by the Nigerian consulate in Atlanta in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, to showcase Nigeria’s “boundless investment opportunities’’.
Addressing other participants at a dinner organised to wrap up the summit, Sutherland described the forum as “absolutely rewarding’’ for him.
“We are going to put together a business mission that goes to Nigeria to see what is going on there.
“Then we will come back to the U.S. to tell our people here that they should not listen to the negative press, but listen to messages that we will bring back,” he said.
The forum featured presentations and panel discussions during which Nigerian officials took turns to highlight business and investment opportunities at both the federal and state levels.
Nigerian officials at the forum included among others, Gov. Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe; the First Lady of Kwara, Mrs Folake Abdulrazaq, who represented her husband, and representatives of the governors of Delta, Enugu, and Lagos states.
Among the agencies represented were the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and Industrial Training Funds, ITF.
They shared the various reforms and incentives available to investors in their various jurisdictions.
Also at the event were many U.S.-based Nigerian entrepreneurs.
Taking stock of the summit, the Consul General of Nigerian in Atlanta, Aishatu Musa, said that the objectives, particularly of linking the U.S. and Nigerian business communities had been achieved.
“The aims include bringing the two sides together to forge what we call marriages for mutual benefits, and that is what we have seen here.
“So many people are happy here and are telling me that through the Business to Business session, they were able to make the business and investment marriages that we are hoping for,’’ she said.
The Deputy Head of Mission, Nigerian Embassy, Washington DC, Amb. Hassan Hassan, congratulated the consulate for a successful outing.
“This is what we want other consulates to do, and we at the embassy in Washington are looking forward to doing that,’’ he said.