Nigerian businesses have been given another opening to the rest of the world as the federal government has launched an online platform that would connect foreign businesses that want to do business with Nigerian businesses.
The government also set up a help desk to attend to Nigerians in diaspora who need information on provision for help.
The Nigeria Global Business Match, NGBM is a real-time online one stop-shop where foreign businesses seeking to do business in Nigeria can transparently conduct end to end transactions with Nigerian registered and verified businesses in a secured and trusted online platform.
NGNM provides a database of registered Nigerian businesses to its foreign counterparts.
The essence is to leverage on the ministry of Foreign Affairs global presence to boost Nigeria’s overall international business, trade and economic relations.
In what may perhaps be described as the parting gift of Geoffrey Onyeama, the ministry also on Thursday launched two other legacy projects- the Nigeria Global Citizens Help Desk, NGCHD for Nigerians in Diaspora who are in need of help.
Also launched was the Unified Online Presence under Diplomatic Service Digitalisation initiative, which is aimed at seeing all the country’s missions and the ministry in one secure Web space. With this, all the missions and ministry will now have a uniform naming pattern.
Speaking during the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said the projects were targeted towards achieving the mandates given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and would be extremely beneficial to Nigerians abroad.
Buhari who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, appreciated partner ministries, departments and agencies for their contributions and support, particularly those that provided database access for verification purposes.
He said: “I would like to urge the staff of the ministry, especially those who will interface directly with this system to utilise them diligently and ensure effective delivery of qualitative service to Nigerian citizens.”
The President further reiterated the need to maintain the legacy projects, as well as improve upon them as innovation permits so that they can compete globally.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the ministry felt the need to leverage on its physical presence in a hundred countries around the world to promote the portal and direct the attention of the businesses in those 100 countries unto the portal where Nigerian businesses would be able to upload all their information, as well as foreign businesses, in a secure environment as supported by the government, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and others.
He said: “Secure environment in which businesses can meet each other. And hopefully, we will be able to have a live match.”
Onyeama further said the portal will be a unique matching tool for businesses as it will open up the world for Nigerian businesses seamlessly.
The minister said the second initiative was part of the ministry’s citizens’ diplomacy, saying that there were huge numbers of Nigerians around the world.
“That is one of the reasons why I am also delighted that the Executive Governor of Edo State was able to come here because he has been a champion for the Nigerian trafficking victims around the world and he has been extremely engaged in protecting young, vulnerable Nigerians who had been trafficked or who could be trafficked if the necessary measures are not put in place,” Onyeama also said.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who was at the occasion, said the event was quite significant, adding that the platform provided for Nigerians in the Diaspora and other relevant sister agencies with a channel that provides services where Nigerians can reach out for help, advisory services and also to report in cases of emergencies.
Obaseki added that the recent Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the crisis in Sudan, clearly demonstrated the need for a trusted and dependable channel where citizens can report emergencies and seek help, especially from Abuja and Nigeria.
He noted that: “This service would be of tremendous benefit to our citizens in the Diaspora who, as you are aware, are spread out all over the world.”