The Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists in Turkey said on Thursday that trading activities between its members and Nigerian entrepreneurs generated $1.56 billion (about N254.76 billion) in 2012.
The trading figure during the year, according to the group, also known as TUKSON, recorded an increase of about $823 million from a total value of $740 million (N120.61 billion) in 2008 when it began trade relations with Nigerians.
The Chairman of the confederation, Mr Rizanur Meral, made the fact known in Instanbul while interacting with some journalists from Nigeria.
Meral said that the value of goods exported to Nigeria by the group was $439 million (N71.56 billion), representing 56 per cent increase from $218 million (N35.53 billion) recorded in 2008.
He also said that the value of imports by TUKSON from Nigeria rose from $522 million (N85.08 billion) in 2008 to $1.12 billion (N183.21 billion) in 2012.
Meral said that goods imported from Nigeria by members of the group during the period included sesame seeds, natural gas, leather, cocoa, coal and rubber.
He said products exported to Nigeria during the period were oil and steel equipment, construction equipment, textile, baby diapers, frozen fish, engine and industrial oil, coal and household appliances.
Meral disclosed that Turkish businessmen began investment in Nigeria about 10 years ago but said that unavailability of adequate infrastructure and investment incentives accounted for the delay in the arrival of Turks in Nigeria.
Meral advised the Federal Government to establish industrial zones and make deliberate effort to provide roads, energy, water and other facilities within them.
“This will encourage more investors to come to the country,” he said.
According to him, it is not enough to give tax holidays, duty waivers and other incentives without providing investment environment that will make entrepreneurs to take advantage of the incentives.
He said that Ethiopia was gradually becoming an “industrial giant” in Africa because it had a policy of robust investment incentive which included 70 per cent credit from its national banks to investors”.
“Turkey adopted similar policy to enable it to develop its tourism and exports businesses and every year, expected revenue from tourism is 43 million dollars, whereas the whole Africa with 54 countries, tourism revenue is about $22 million,” he said.
Meral said that corruption and security problems in Nigeria were no barriers to investment, considering that the challenges were global and not peculiar to Nigeria.