African corporate data provider, Asoko Insight (“Asoko”) and USAID-backed Nigeria Expanded Trade & Transport (“NEXTT”) Project have jointly signed an MoU which will see the two organisations collaborate on the transition of the NEXTT project to the Asoko platform.
Over the last five years NEXTT has focused on the provision of technical assistance – primarily market and capital access – as well as business advisory services to a pool of high-potential private Nigerian agro-processors.
A press statement by Asoko indicates that as custodian of the USAID Project Development Facility (PDF) fund, NEXTT has also co-developed business models and expansion plans for twelve agro-industries with an aim to attract investment and promote exports into the Nigerian agro-value chains.
After the official deadline of the project on 9th October 2017 Asoko and NEXTT will collaborate to sustain the gains made over the last five years.
Asoko will assimilate the NEXTT project into its existing corporate platform of more than 10,000 privately-held African companies, while also actively facilitating the companies’ access to an international audience of firms seeking investment and partnership opportunities with Nigerian firms.
Speaking on the signature of the MOU Obi Ejimofo, Asoko’s Chief of Operations, said: “It has certainly been a pleasure working with NEXTT – an initiative that shares our desire to expose Africa’s vibrant private sector to global investment and trade opportunities. NEXTT has done invaluable work in key agri-business value chains in Nigeria. Asoko hopes to do its best to build on this solid foundation, by leveraging our technology and global footprint”.
On behalf of NEXTT, Chief of Party Marc Shiman said “NEXTT is particularly excited to work with Asoko Insight, a Pan African firm that has launched operations in Nigeria. Asoko represents Nigeria’s vibrant private sector and epitomize NEXTT’s approach of working with entrepreneurs in a win-win arrangement that helps them grow while continuing to ensure the firms with whom we have worked over the past 5 years will continue to get high quality support in their quest for success.”.
Engagement on the partnership will officially commence in September with the exchange of publications and database access between the two parties.