Mr Dao Duc, Head of Trade Office of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Friday expressed his government’s readiness to support Nigeria in the development of its non-oil sector. Dao, who made the disclosure at the Nigeria-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NVCCI) Stakeholders’ Forum in Lagos, advised Nigeria against over-dependence on oil as her revenue earner.
The theme of the forum is “Harnessing Export Strength of Products of Nigeria for Rapid Economic Advancement; Possible Lessons from Vietnam’s Experience’’.
“Nigeria and Vietnam are friends, and we know the current challenges being faced by Nigeria and this is really giving us concern. “Oil cannot continue to be Nigeria’s mainstay. Vietnam is really ready and interested in working with Nigeria in the development of its non-oil sector resources. “We are ready to share our know-how and experiences with Nigerians for the development of their non-oil sector,’’ he said.
Dao, however, said that it was currently impossible for more Vietnamese companies and investors to invest in Nigeria due to problems of infrastructure and other challenges.
Former Nigerian Ambassador to Beijing, China, Amb. Oluwole Coker said that there was a lot for Nigerians to learn from Vietnam in developing their country’s non-oil sector. Coker enjoined Nigerians to reduce their travelling to Vietnam for just buying and selling, but to visit Vietnam to learn things that would make Vietnamese companies come to establish in Nigeria.
He said that it was imperative for Nigerians to know that Vietnamese had new technologies, discipline and patriotism that they should learn from. The NVCCI’s President, Mr Oye Akinsemoyin, said that Nigeria should learn from Vietnam, which after devastating wars was able to transform her economy from being import-dependent to being export-oriented. “Vietnam has been able to resourcefully turn itself from poverty to a force to be reckoned with in the Association of South-Eastern Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“She has been able to radically transform its non-oil external trade sector from being import-dependent to being export-oriented within a short period of time. “Nigeria can choose to learn from Vietnam to be able overcome its current economic situation,’’ he said. The highpoint of the NVCCI’s event was the conferment of Award as its Grand Patron on the former External Affairs Minister, Prof.Bolaji Akinyemi. NVCCI also conferred its Honorary Award on the Chairman of Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi.