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Nigeria, UK trade hits N12trn as deal sealed to ease barriers

The value of trade between Nigeria and the United Kingdom has hit N12.3 trillion (£6.7bn) as at the end of 2023, Minister of Industry, Trade…

The value of trade between Nigeria and the United Kingdom has hit N12.3 trillion (£6.7bn) as at the end of 2023, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, has revealed.

The minister made the revelation on Tuesday in Abuja during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) between the trade and investment ministry and the Secretary of State, Department of Business and Trade, Hon. Olukemi Badenoch.

“Nigeria and the UK have shared a long-term prosperity and have maintained long historic and commercial ties as the UK remains top trade partner both in import and exports amounting to £6.7bn pounds as at end of 2023,” she said.

Speaking on the MoU, she noted that, “The first target is to reduce barriers to trade and which the ministry is diligently working to see that conducive atmosphere is created for businesses, especially now that Nigeria is working to get into AfCFTA that will lead to diversification of economy and improve exports while the second is to increase investment flows by improving ease of doing in furtherance with the eight-point agenda of the current administration.”

Uzoka-Anite added that the federal government has initiated home-grown industrialisation initiatives aimed at increasing exporting, stressing that signing the MOU is not an end but a means for Nigeria to explore the opportunities inherent.

Badenoch in her remarks recalled the long-standing trade relationship between Nigeria and the UK, stating that Shell and Unilever which are among the longest serving companies in Nigeria recently celebrated 100 years of existence.

On the MoU, she said, “It will cover 14 areas including investments in energy, poverty alleviation, creative industry and eliminating trade barriers.

“It lays the groundwork for over 3,000 Nigerian products as it is the first of many and we must be committed in building and implementing the agreement which is where the hard work lies. Importantly, the agreement cannot be executed by the government alone which is why we need the collaboration of the private sector.