…Says Nigeria is open for business, partnership
Kunle Kalejaye 24 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Houston, Texas – The Head of the Commercial Section of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Brent Omdahl, has described Nigeria as a country ready for business and partnership.
Omdahl, who stated this at the just-concluded 2017 Nigeria Content Investment Forum, NCIF, in Houston, Texas, said Nigeria has a dynamic and robust business environment.
Speaking to potential American investors and Nigerian businessmen seeking partnership with American Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, at the Forum, Omdahl said they needed to think about Nigeria as the next greatest opportunity, the next big thing.
He, however, added that they also need a Foundation of Business Development in a different way, ready to invest in projects, and ready to do things outside the box to create the right kind of partnership.
“You may be interested in exploration, you may be interested in selling buildings, railway, roads or building a new road.
“But if you want to be successful in Nigeria, you have to bring skin to the table. You have to be ready to invest. It is not enough to sell your products, you have to be ready to invest in projects, you have to be ready do things you normally don’t do to create some partnership,” he said.
Citing an example, Omdahl said, “GE is very committed to Nigeria. The president of GE is also the president of American Business Council, and we work very closely”.
“GE has been in Nigeria for a very long time. GE has been willing to sell rails, cars, and railroad engines to Nigeria for a long time. They actually had model success until they decided to put a proposal together to refurbish the north-south corridor of the eastern part of the country and to build concession not just to sell railroads, car engines but to refurbish the rail lines and put together a concession that actually includes, interestingly, a couple of Nigerian companies, European companies and a Chinese company together with the great American company.
“I have no doubt that over the next couple of years, that investment is going to be a success. It will be a success because of the commitment that exists. They did not come overnight, they worked on this project for several years.
“This is the mindset that American companies need to have when coming to Nigeria. The prospect, the opportunities are long term and are real, but if you come with an understanding of Foundation of Business Development as we call it, you will have success. So I recommend this to American companies.”
Addressing Nigerian lawmakers, who were present at the Forum, Omdahl urged them to ensure consistency in regulations guiding foreign investment in Nigeria, and noted that power supply and security remain a challenge to investors coming to the country.
He likewise informed the audience at the Forum that they should expect open books and transparency from America companies.
“We have this saying in the US that states that ‘You win the business because of what you can do not because of who you know’
“It is important to know people but at the end of the day, it is who can deliver at the best possible quality level, at the best quality price. That is what you should expect from American companies,” he said.