By Kayode Fasua
The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation of the United States of America has expressed its readiness to support at least 400 Nigerian businesses in a win-win trade agreement that will benefit both the county and the Nigerian companies.
Consequently, the agency has appointed BHS International Limited, concessionaires of the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos, as its partner in the trade mission to Nigeria.
The corpoation is a branch of Prince George’s County Government, charged with bringing economic opportunities to the County.
Speaking during a trade mission to Nigeria, the Corporation’s Director of International Business, Mr. Martin Ezemma, said the team was in the country to affirm the claims of the BHS that tremendous investment opportunities abound in Nigeria.
It also conducted a roadshow during its visit to the county earlier in March this year.
“We have found that BHS International Limited was incorporated in 1996 as tourism infrastructural and industrial development specialist.
“The company being the concessionaires of Tafawa Balewa Square, is saddled with the responsibility of providing socio-economic developmentand turning the national monument to a world-class City Centre and destination of choice,” Ezemma said.
Besides, he noted that the team was in Nigeria to discover an array of small and medium-scale industries in need of foreign partnership and would rely on the partnership with the BHS to achieve its objective.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of BHS, Mr. Olu Adenodi,noted that the visit of the investors to Nigeria was the outcome of a meeting he had with the County’s Economic Development Corporation, in the aftermath of its investment roadshow in that country.
Adenodi, however, expressed optimism that within a short time, the construction of a N10 billion world-class City Centre at the TBS would take off.
He predicated his assurance on the series of discussions between the BHS and a conglomerate of US-based investors, “who are willing to commit over $100 million to transform the TBS to a world-class trade centre.”
“We’ve projected a world-class city centre valued at over N10 billion for the TBS and that was one of the reasons we went on an investment roadshow in the US last March, where we seized the opportunity to firm up talks with a conglomerate of investors, who are bringing in, not less than $300 million investment.
“The TBS is a national monument that has to be preserved and protected and that is why since the federal government put the complex under our care, we are making all efforts to transform it to the pride of the nation,” he said.
Other business experts in the US team included Mr. Steve McClinton of Maven Adviory Group LLC and Ms. Wendy Muhammed.
President/Director of Business of Minimally Invasive Vascular Centre, expressed satisfaction with the resilience of Nigeria’s SMEs, promising to engage “both private and public/government sectors practitioners and partners, to explore opportunities.”
Expressing his delight over the visit, the chairman, Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises, Mr. Solomon Aderoju, said the visitors’ aspiration was in line with the thinking of the Federal Government, that foreign investors should come and support small and medium-scale businesses in Nigeria.