- Top US investors eye Nigeria’s technology industry
Top United States investors, under the US-Nigeria Council platform, are looking at exploring market opportunities domiciled in the Nigerian economy.
Their intentions were made known at the just concluded 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York, which convened a high powered business dinner with top US investors with interest in Nigeria, a statement by USNC on Monday indicated.
The USNC is a business-to-business organisation that works to promote partnerships between Nigerian and American companies and to strengthen US-Nigeria commercial relations.
It had its exclusive dinner at the forum co-hosted by the Chairman of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, John Coumantaros; Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, and the Vice-Chairman of McLarty Associates, Ambassador John Negroponte.
The council gathered leaders of Nigerian and American businesses to discuss how to build on to deepen Nigeria’s return to economic growth and diversification. In particular, the council members and dinner participants focused on the need to create a competitive Information and Communications Technology cluster that will further develop Nigeria’s growth into a digital economy.
The US businesses present at the dinner included Chevron, Google, Walmart, IBM, Tetra Tech,American Tower Corporation. Some of the leading investors at the event included Citi, Denham Capital, Fairfax Africa, CRE Ventures, Development Partners International, Atlas Mara, Greylock Capital, Greenwish Partners, Smith Graham, Prince Street Investment Management and Zephyr Management.
The dinner was attended by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington; Deputy Counsel-General of Nigeria to the US, Ambassador Hassan Mohammed; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Mrs. Yewande Sadiku, and Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, representing the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
The commitment of Nigerian businesses to the USNC was demonstrated by the active participation of the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia; Group Chief Executive Officer, Oando Plc, Adewale Tinubu; Managing Director, Yinka Folawiyo Group, Tunde Folawiyo; Director at Seplat Plc, Basil Omiyi; Gbenga Oyebode of Aluko & Oyebode Partners; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema, among others.
The co-chair of the USNC, John Coumantaros, noted that the, “USNC is a premier business organisation catalysing tangible joint ventures and partnerships that develop capacity and accelerate economic diversification in Nigeria,” adding that “the ICT cluster is a major priority of the business community.”
Orji, who oversees Nigeria’s $2bn Sovereign Wealth Fund, described the work of the council as bringing together “a wide spectrum of stakeholders critical to building Nigerian-American business relations.” The Executive Director of the USNC, Eliot Pence, in his remarks, noted that the council’s unique focus was on “facilitating transactions between young entrepreneurs, investors and companies.”