US Nigeria Council Dinner in Washington DC Focuses on the Future (April 2019)
WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Nigeria Council for Food Security, Trade and Investment (USNC), a business organization dedicated to deepening commercial ties between the U.S. and Nigeria and creating a platform for leading Nigerian entrepreneurs, hosted its annual executive spring dinner in Washington D.C. on Thursday, April 11. The Council’s first event since the Nigerian elections was held on the margins of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings and gathered over sixty leading Nigerian and American business executives and high-level public officials.
Hosted by Chairman Ambassador Terence McCulley and Co-Chair John Coumantaros of Flour Mills of Nigeria, the Council’s dinner discussion featured remarks by the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele and the Governor of Edo State Godwin Obaseki. Both emphasized the positive economic developments taking place in Nigeria and encouraged investors to take a new look at Nigeria. Central Bank Governor Emefiele noted that this quarter now marks “seven quarters of sustained economic recovery and growth in Nigeria.”
Emblematic of that growth, several emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs spoke at the dinner highlighting their companies’ growth and innovation including Emmanuel Okeleji, founder of SeamlessHR, Sam Immanuel, Founder of Semicolon and Kendall Ananyi, Founder of Tizeti (wifi.com). Emmanual Okeleji said “partnering with leading Nigerian and US companies can greatly accelerate our growth and thus job creation in Nigeria.”
From the U.S. government, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for West Africa and Security Affairs Whitney Baird also attended the event. Ambassador Symington echoed the optimism for Nigeria’s progress. USNC Chairman Ambassador McCulley remarked, “The Council remains the only business group solely focused on Nigeria, and we are pleased to serve as a convener of U.S. and Nigerian entrepreneurs in support of this important bilateral relationship.”
USNC members present included Dr. ABC Orjiako of Seplat; Mamadou Beye of Chevron; Ambassador John Negroponte of McLarty Associates, and a representative from Ventures Platform. Other notable attendees included Kayode Pitan, CEO of Bank of Industry of Nigeria, Betrand Badre, Former Managing Director of the World Bank, Eme Essien, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria; and executives from Andela, Nithio, American Tower Corporation, and Lateral Capital.
The Council will continue to convene business dinners in Washington DC, New York and Lagos. To learn more about USNC, please visit www.usnigeriacouncil.org or contact Talley Diggs at email@example.com.