Don’t ignore Nigerian Market, says diplomat

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Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad, Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria

Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad, Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria

LAGOS, Dec 12 (Bernama) — The Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria has urged Malaysian companies not to ignore the opportunities provided by Nigeria, citing its huge population of 160 million and status as West Africa”s biggest economy.

Malaysian firms should not wait when everything is perfect as by that time big companies from Japan, South Korea, China and Indonesia will have entrenched themselves there, said Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad.

Nigeria is like China in Asia, he said, citing its population, the biggest in Africa, and its size, three times that of Malaysia.

Nik Mustafa Kamil, who also covers West African countries, gave Indomie, Indonesia”s instant mee brand that is well known in Nigeria, as an example of foreign products that have established themselves in the country.

“Twenty years ago, Nigerians did not know how to eat instant mee, but Indomie is now so entrenched and even regarded as a Nigerian product that other foreign companies will find it hard to compete against Indomie in the instant mee market,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Even Nigerian students coming to Malaysia bring supplies of Indomie as they do not find instant mee in Malaysia to their liking, he said.

Indonesia”s Bakrie Group recently announced plans to invest US$1 billion in Nigeria”s mining, rubber plantations and palm oil sectors, he said.

Nigeria offers many lucrative investment opportunities that Malaysian companies may not be aware of, he added.

The country needs US$10 billion annually for infrastructure development and needs to import food and food products for its people, he said.

Malaysian companies should grab the opportunities in the country”s palm oil sector but need to do their own research first before making the plunge, he added.

Malaysian firms already in Nigeria include Bumi Armada in the oil and gas industry as well as others in the real estate and agriculture sectors, while there are some 200 Malaysians in the country.

Like Malaysia, he said, Nigeria produces commodities such as oil, palm oil and rubber, and is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and G15 group of countries, but incidents in its delta and northern regions do not imply the whole country is unsafe.

And although the country has an image problem with its citizens involved in Internet scams and drug trafficking, Nik Mustafa Kamil said the authorities are trying hard to overcome the problems, adding it is unfair to imply all Nigerians are involved.

The actions of a few should not be misconstrued as representative of the whole country, as quite a number of Nigerians have made a name for themselves abroad including winning a Nobel prize, he said.

 

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