LAGOS, Dec 12 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria has
urged Malaysian companies not to ignore the opportunities provided by Nigeria,
citing its huge population of 160 million and status as West Africa''s biggest
Malaysian firms should not wait when everything is perfect as by that time
big companies from Japan, South Korea, China and Indonesia will have entrenched
themselves there, said Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad.
Nigeria is like China in Asia, he said, citing its population, the biggest
in Africa, and its size, three times that of Malaysia.
Nik Mustafa Kamil, who also covers West African countries, gave Indomie,
Indonesia''s instant mee brand that is well known in Nigeria, as an example of
foreign products that have established themselves in the country.
"Twenty years ago, Nigerians did not know how to eat instant mee, but
Indomie is now so entrenched and even regarded as a Nigerian product that
other foreign companies will find it hard to compete against Indomie in the
instant mee market," he told Bernama in an interview.
Even Nigerian students coming to Malaysia bring supplies of Indomie as they
do not find instant mee in Malaysia to their liking, he said.
Indonesia''s Bakrie Group recently announced plans to invest US$1 billion in
Nigeria''s mining, rubber plantations and palm oil sectors, he said.
Nigeria offers many lucrative investment opportunities that Malaysian
companies may not be aware of, he added.
The country needs US$10 billion annually for infrastructure development and
needs to import food and food products for its people, he said.
Malaysian companies should grab the opportunities in the country''s palm oil
sector but need to do their own research first before making the plunge, he
Malaysian firms already in Nigeria include Bumi Armada in the oil and gas
industry as well as others in the real estate and agriculture sectors, while
there are some 200 Malaysians in the country.
Like Malaysia, he said, Nigeria produces commodities such as oil, palm oil
and rubber, and is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and G15 group of
countries, but incidents in its delta and northern regions do not imply the
whole country is unsafe.
And although the country has an image problem with its citizens involved in
Internet scams and drug trafficking, Nik Mustafa Kamil said the authorities are
trying hard to overcome the problems, adding it is unfair to imply all Nigerians
The actions of a few should not be misconstrued as representative of the
whole country, as quite a number of Nigerians have made a name for themselves
abroad including winning a Nobel prize, he said.
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