March 12, 2021 / 8:17AM / Ayomide Oguntoye for WebTV /Header Image
The Nigerian government is committed to implementing reforms, that can enhance trade facilitation with leading global economies like the United Kingdom. Otunba Niyi Adebayo, the Minister for Industries, Trade, and Investments made this point as a keynote speaker at the 2021 Nigeria-Britain Trade and Investment Expo which discussed the theme "Unlocking the Future of Anglo-Nigeria Trade".
He believed the theme of the expo aligned with the prospects for sustainable trade and development for Nigeria, as it took trade facilitation and utilization seriously. The Minister commended the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) for its support of the Federal Government, through policy advocacy.
He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari's administration through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) contributed to Nigeria's noticeable improvement in the ease of doing business.
According to him, the recent ranking of Nigeria in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report, moved the country to 131 out of 170.
Speaking further he said the government had revised the bilateral trade model, with a principle to support prospective investors in their plans and strategies.
He said the Industries, Trade, and Investments Ministry had developed an I-Guide Platform for investors, aiding them with the necessary information for taking key investment decisions in Nigeria.
Otunba Adebayo added that the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) published a document on States and their potentials. He said that Some of the initiatives embarked upon by the Federal Government include;
Concerning the AfCFTA, the Trade Minister believed that Nigeria had a competitive advantage in providing financial services, e-commerce, and transactions centred on the digital economy.
The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ben Llellewyn Jones, in his remarks described Nigeria as a strategic economic hub in Africa and reassured stakeholders that the UK would continue to deepen its partnership with the country.
He said the United Kingdom would continue to support Nigeria in the area of Trade Investment and economic development.
Giving the opening remarks the President and Chairman of Council, Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Mr. Kayode Falowo, said Nigeria and the UK had a strong cultural and trade alliance spanning decades.
"Nigeria is Africa's largest economy with over 200m people and is blessed with natural resources and human capital," Falowo said.
The NBCC President stressed that the Trade and Investment Expo was part of its mandate to deepen the UK-Nigeria relations, which was geared towards inclusive growth and jobs.
Mr. Falowo acknowledged the fact that the UK-Nigeria trade partnership has witnessed significant growth and development leveraging areas like energy, agriculture, education, financial services, and creative arts.
He urged the United Kingdom to pay close attention to Nigeria which is a leading economic hub in Sub-Saharan Africa and a key destination for investments in the region.
The event also featured panel sessions with seasoned experts as discussants, that discussed the following key topics;
It was also an opportunity for businesses and investors to network, while exhibitors had the opportunity to showcase their products and services.