According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria is the greatest and most natural place to invest in Africa, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam may take advantage of their longstanding friendship with Nigeria to enter the sizable Nigerian and African markets.
Osinbajo made this claim during a meeting with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the president of Vietnam. Phuc also expressed a strong commitment to use and strengthen Nigeria’s already-existing diplomatic ties and friendship in order to advance economic development, particularly in the fields of agriculture, oil and gas, and telecommunications.
As the Vice President concluded a three-day official trip, Osinbajo made Phuc a courtesy call. The two leaders engaged in a very cordial and warm exchange.
The Vietnamese President greeted the Vice President directly outside the structure and held his hand as they entered the Presidential Palace together.
President Phuc once more walked Osinbajo outside following the conclusion of the conference. This time, he followed him all the way to his car and waved as the convoy departed.
During the first two days of his tour, the vice president met with the prime minister and his colleague, Madam Vo Thi Anh Xuan.
He also interacted with members of the Nigerian community in Vietnam, met with the Vietnamese business community under the auspices of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and paid visits to the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the FTP University, and its software company.
Osinbajo stated that Nigeria remains the most logical place to conduct business on Tuesday while speaking at the VCCI. He noted that despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, GDP growth has been positive for the last seven quarters, and even though it slowed to 2.3% on a year-over-year basis in the third quarter of this year, it was still an increase of 9.7% over the second quarter.
He said: “Apart from being the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria also has the continent’s largest economy, accounting for over 20 per cent of continental GDP. The Nigerian private sector has undertaken large path-breaking investments in the country in agriculture, manufacturing, petrochemicals, finance, telecommunications and digital economy.”
In terms of market viability, Osinbajo noted that Nigeria continues to rank very high, explaining how “our people are renowned for being energetic and tech-savvy, with over 60 per cent of the population below 25 years of age.”
In the tech space, the Vice President said “between 2015 and last year, six Nigerian tech-based companies have been certified as unicorns. These are companies valued at over a billion U.S. dollars each.
“Nigeria is also now home to over 200 stand-alone FinTech companies, plus a number of FinTech solutions offered by banks and mobile network operators as part of their product portfolio. Between 2014 and 2019, Nigeria’s bustling FinTech segment raised over $600 million in funding and attracted a quarter of the almost $500 million raised by African tech startups in 2019 alone.”
He stated further: “The creative sector which employs over four million people and has the potential to add 2.7 million by 2025, is ranked the second largest employer of labour after the agricultural sector.
“We are on course to become the third largest national market, based on headcount by the year 2050. We are already the largest financial market in Africa with a market capitalisation in excess of $50 billion as of the end of last year.”
President Phuc, for his part, welcomed Vice President Osinbajo to Vietnam by stating: “We appreciate the gesture of you coming from Africa, based on our cherished friendship and partnership.”
He gave the Vice President his word that more talks will take place about Vietnamese businesspeople’ intentions to invest in Nigeria, particularly in the fields of agriculture, technology, telecommunications, oil, and gas, among other things.
Rice production is one of the nation’s assets, according to Phuc, and as such, cooperation between the two nations can increase Nigeria’s rice production capacity.
Phuc made mention of the positive results of the vice president’s previous meetings with the vice president and prime minister of Vietnam.
He stated: “We have reached a consensus on many issues. We have a lot of potentials to explore.”