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NIGERIA BUSINESS COMMUNITIES

NIGERIA BUSINESS COMMUNITIES

Interview

By Andrea Ayemoba

Thursday, 20 August, 2015


Cliff Ogbede is Chairman of Kleef & Vts Oil, Nigeria. He is also a consultant for the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and an active organizer of cross-continental events for business promotion.

His interview with Nigeria Business Communities:

Would you please introduce Kleef & Vts Oil?  

Kleef & Vts Oil ltd was incorporated in Nigeria in 1996. We are into trade, investment and business promotion, event management, portfolio management, consultancy, manufacturers’ agent, engineering, training, petroleum products distribution and retailing.

 In which industries does Kleef & Vts Oil Operate?

 Primarily in the Oil and Gas sector as we represent Salzgitter Mannesmann, Germany, for supply of oil pipelines and OCTG materials to the oil and gas companies in Nigeria and  our representation extends to about eight other African countries. Our main clients include Exxon Mobil, Deltafrik, WDCL oil and Gas.

What did you do before your chairmanship of Kleef & Vts Oil?

I was an instructor in a tertiary institution in Lagos. I also worked in an Engineering/Construction firm before starting my own business.

What other companies/organizations/activities are you involved in?

I’m a consultant for the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). As such, I am mandated to promote business opportunities in Nigeria. At the moment, we are partnering with the Nigerian German Business Association to host the Nigerian German Business Forum in the month of September, 27th -30th, in Frankfurt, Germany.

My company is providing support to the Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment of Nigeria and we are preparing to host the second Nigeria Netherlands Economic Forum this year, November 19-20th. In the past, we have successfully organized three major events in Frankfurt Germany in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. We also joined Afrika Veriein and Maleki Group in organizing the Africa Business week conference in Frankfurt Germany 2013.

What can be done on both sides to improve the trade relationships between Africa and Europe, in your opinion?

Europeans should see Africans as partners and engage more in productive ventures in Africa by encouraging skills acquisition training for the young Africans, thereby awakening and improving entrepreneurial skills that will ultimately boost employment in the continent.

Europe could also reduce trade restrictions and encourage more financial support for business owners who want to enter the African market.

Furthermore, they should encourage African business owners to invest in Europe as well by offering incentives that will attract African products and services. The relationship between Europe and Africa should be more engaging with more emphasis on trade diplomacy approach from both ends.

Europe should support Africa with technology transfer, skills acquisition training and financing. Advocacy on the importance of developing the African continent by their citizens should be encouraged. Illegal migration should be discouraged while education should be promoted.

Africa should improve in democratic values by strengthening government institutions, build infrastructure, fight corruption, be more accountable and transparent, uphold the rule of law and develop a strategy to improve the wellbeing of its citizens. Being an emerging continent, regional trade barriers should be removed and production should be encouraged as to grow the economy of the continent.

What does the Nigeria Netherlands Economic Forum event hope to achieve in the interest of both countries?

The forum will shed more light on the opportunities available from both continents, showcase business potentials, political forecasts, and encourage new partnerships that will promote business.

What can you say about the targets, plans and ambitions of Kleef & Vts Oil for the rest of 2015?

We are targeting private and public sectors’ participation in growing the African economy and my company intends to me more active in promoting businesses that will create jobs in Africa which will help in reducing the influx of illegal migration to Europe.

We will engage in advocacy across the continent of Africa by educating the youths to remain and develop Africa, thereby stating the obvious about the difficulty of illegal migration. We intend to let the African youths understand that the future is brighter in Africa than anywhere else and for them to equally see the potentials available within their immediate environment.

What expectations do you have for Nigeria’s economy in the second half of 2015?

We expect a steady growth as the new government settles down in the last quarter. The government has made it a policy to encourage entrepreneurship by focusing on Agricultural revolution, skill acquisition training, solid minerals development and power generation. Above all, the new government has shown that it is willing and determined to stop corruption, end insurgency in some parts of the country and uphold the rule of law by respecting the constitution of Nigeria through a transparent and accountable leadership.

 

Which African countries will perform best in 2015?

Nigeria. The new government is resolute for economic diversification. The population is about 180 million as of 2014 with a daily increase.  The good news is that majority of the population are young people who can be quite productive if adequate infrastructures are put in place. Nigeria’s democracy is developing and the people are eager to take their destinies in their hands. With abundant human and natural resources, Nigeria is a country to watch as the new government is resolute to end corruption in public institutions and businesses.

South Africa’s economy is managed by technocrats who have been trained to understand the local demands and importance of having a robust foreign policy that is encouraging investments. South Africa is an important market in Africa with basic infrastructures required to create jobs. Many foreign companies still find South Africa as a country where they can locate their continental headquarters, knowing that they have a stable democracy.

Kenya is doing very well within the East African Region as the president in his charismatic nature is promoting the country for direct foreign investments by reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks that have frustrated foreign business inflow in the past. Kenya is expanding its frontier in terms of promoting regional businesses and the government is equally focused in the area of training and skill acquisition in a bid to create more middle class. Corruption is being fought head-on in Kenya and with the tourism potential that is again picking up due to the support of the Western countries in reducing regional security threat from Al shabab, one can believe that Kenya will be a model for growth within the continent in the next few years.

Source: http://nigeriabusinesscommunities.com/features/interview-cliff-ogbede-chairman-kleef-and-vts-oil-nigeria.html

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