THE Federal Government’s yearly rice import bill from Vietnam has hit about $500 million (N84 billion) according to the Nigerian-Vietnam Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Besides, Vietnam also spends about $100 million to import agricultural products such as raw cashew nuts, cassava and oil palm from Nigeria.
Indeed, Nigeria spends about N365 million yearly on the importation of 2.1 million metric tonnes of milled rice from different countries, such as India, Thailand and Vietnam.
President of the chamber, Prince Oye Akinsemoyin, who made this disclosure in an interview with The Guardian recently, said Nigeria’s imports cover a wide range of commodities, including those of Vietnam’s strengths such as rice.
By Roseline Okere
He listed Vietnam’s major exports to Nigeria to include rubber, electric and electronic products, footwear, plastics, handicraft and fine art articles and construction materials, while the country imports from Nigeria raw cashew nuts, fruits, cotton and minerals.
Akinsemoyin stated: “Basically, Nigeria exports Agricultural products. At the moment, Vietnam is the largest importer of Nigeria’s raw cashew nuts. Vietnam’s cashew import from Nigeria is about a $100 million yearly. Nigeria exports agricultural items like Cassava with which Vietnam produces starch and the raw materials
Vietnam imports sea foods from Nigeria, like shrimps, fish; also oil palm, which is processed to palm oil, which goes into local production of creams and cosmetics Vietnam imports food items like coconut and also beans and fruits from Nigeria.
Vietnam exports rice to Nigeria; Vietnam is one of Nigeria’s trading partners in rice exportation. Vietnam’s rice export to Nigeria will be about $500 million per annum. Vietnam exports garments, fabrics to Nigeria as well as shoes and fashion accessories. Many of the cosmetics companies in Vietnam are looking for distributors in Nigeria.
Vietnam exports furniture, artifacts and art work for interior décor”.
He disclosed that many companies from Vietnam are willing to invest in Nigeria.
According to him, “the chamber is now looking at setting up institutions that will further foster the relationship between Nigeria and Vietnam; we are encouraging investors from Vietnam to make in road to Nigeria economy, companies like Viettel is willing to invest $7 billion into the Nigerian Telecommunication sector. Arrangement is already going on to avail them the opportunity to bid for the relevant spectrum to be able to operate as one of the telecom operators in the country.
“PetroVina is also interested in investing in the Exploration and Production (E&P) sub-sector of the country’s Oil and Gas sector, PetroVina is interested in the upstream and the midstream sectors. We are trying to attract investments that will be able to provide employment for Nigerians. The kind of investors that will be able to have multiplier effects on the Nigerian economy”.