Sheffield will be hosting a major business delegation from Nigeria this week – one of the largest overseas trade visits of its kind to this region in recent years.
Featuring more than 100 delegates, the focus of the four-day visit will be on business development opportunities in the second largest African market, which Prime Minister David Cameron has described as a dream waiting to happen, highlighting the projection the country would have the fastest growing GDP in the world in the next 40 years.
Presentations from Nigerian and UK experts at a one-day seminar at the city’s Copthorne Hotel will cover specific opportunities in power, manufacturing and specific regions of the country. In addition there will be updates on the country’s privatisation process, doing business in Nigeria and technology acquisition.
Already some of the best-known names from the Sheffield city region business community are lined-up to meet the delegation which features representatives from construction, energy, finance and legal, food and drink, healthcare, oil and gas, telecommunications, transport, waste management, education and training.
Organised by UK Trade and Investment and supported by South Yorkshire International Trade Centre and Yorkshire-based Goldmere, the visit is a direct result of Sheffield United football club’s growing partnership with the country. Last year Blades owner Kevin McCabe’s Scarborough Group, announced that prominent Nigerian businessman Jacob Esan of Nigeria had become a director of both Scarborough United Group plc (SUG) and Sheffield United plc (SU plc).
Amongst the organisations hosting the delegation are Sheffield City Council, Creative Sheffield, Sheffield United (the group will be given a tour of Bramall Lane and the Blades Shirecliffe Academy and also take in the Colchester United match), the Copthorne Hotel, Sheffield Steelers, the University of Sheffield, Padley and Venables (Dronfield), the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Barnsley College, Sheffield Hallam University, Tata Steel and Chesterfield Police.
Mark Robson, UKTI’s International Trade Director for Yorkshire and Humberside, said:
The interest in the visit has been remarkable and specifically the one day seminar on doing business with Nigeria where we have 95 representatives from firms from the Sheffield City region attending.
The business community here has recognised that Nigeria is a rapidly growing and investing African economy rich in oil reserves that needs to source materials and support across a number of sectors,” added Mark.
Kevin McCabe said:
This is an exciting opportunity for businesses in the Sheffield City Region. We have been working alongside Jacob to facilitate these types of events which can provide real opportunities for businesses and the Sheffield City region in general.
Christine Donaldson-Badger, from Goldmere, said:
We have more than 100 Nigerian delegates attending and almost the same number of UK companies registered to attend. Following a previous visit to this country and the Prime Minister’s comments, our united aim is to make this the first meeting in forging links and increasing business between countries.
The visit, from today (Wednesday, February 13) to Saturday February 16, has attracted the attention of the Nigerian media. A TV crew will be accompanying the group.
For more information or to register interest in the seminar contact Jenna Selwood at the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce/SYITC at Jenna.firstname.lastname@example.org. To register to participate in one-to-one meetings contact Mustaq Birader on 0114 207 5311 or email email@example.com