US-Nigeria Council Promotes The ‘Nig Tech Initiative’ to Spur Nigeria Into The Digital World Economy - Sundiata Tech


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Friday, September 29, 2017

US-Nigeria Council Promotes The ‘Nig Tech Initiative’ to Spur Nigeria Into The Digital World Economy

The US-Nigeria Council (USNC), a business to business organisation that works to promote partnerships between Nigerian and American companies and to strengthen US-Nigeria commercial relations has called on business leaders to build on deepening Nigeria’s return to economic growth and diversification through Information Communication Technology (ICT).

At the recently concluded 72nd UN General Assembly in New York, the council members alongside top US investors with high interest in Nigeria gathered to discuss the promotion of Nigeria’s tech initiatives and the need to create a competitive ICT cluster that will further develop Nigeria growth into the digital economy.

The high powered dinner co-hosted by John Coumantaros, Chairman of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc., Uche Orji, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and Ambassador John Negroponte, Vice-Chairman of McLarty Associates also had US businesses such as Chevron, Google, Walmart, IBM, Tetra Tech, American Tower Corporation amongst many others in attendance.

Whilst 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 Hassan of Nigeria and Mrs. Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe representing the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.

The commitment of Nigerian businesses to the USNC was demonstrated by the active participation of Jim Ovia, Chairman Zenith Bank, Adewale Tinubu, Group CEO Oando PLC, Tunde Folawiyo, MD, Yinka Folawiyo Group, Basil Omiyi, Director Seplat PLC, Gbenga Oyebode of Aluko & Oyebode Partners, Oscar Onyema, CEO Nigeria Stock Exchange,Abdulrazaq Isa of Waltersmith Energy, Kola Karim of Shoreline Group and Dangote Group. The dinner also welcomed a diverse group of young entrepreneurs who have started companies in technology, agribusiness, e-commerce and education such as  Andela, Cars45, Royal Power, GidiMobile, Flutterwave, RxAll, and Lidya.

The co-chair of the USNC, John Coumantaros, noted the “USNC as a premier business organisation catalyzing tangible joint ventures and partnerships that develop capacity and accelerate economic diversification in Nigeria.” He further stated: “the ICT cluster is a major priority of the business community.”

Uche Orji, CEO of Nigeria’s $2 billion Sovereign Wealth Fund speaking at the occasion, described the work of the Council as bringing together “a wide spectrum of stakeholders critical to building Nigerian-American business relations.” Eliot Pence, Executive Director of the USNC, in his remarks, noted the Council’s unique focus on “facilitating transactions between young entrepreneurs, investors and companies.”

The evening ended with an acknowledgement of the efforts made by the USNC Executive Management team Eliot Pence, Aubrey Hruby and Kelechi Ekugo in ensuring the coordination of its various activities and commitment towards investment flow into Nigeria.

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