• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Bilateral trade between Nigeria and UK worth £7bn, says UK Envoy

nigeria and uk

Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has revealed that bilateral trade between Nigeria and the UK is now worth £7 billion.

The envoy said that Nigeria purchased about £4 billion worth of goods and services from the UK and exported about £3 billion worth of goods to the country, noting a 2 percent marginal increase in trade volume between Nigeria and the UK.

The information was revealed during a conversation with Nigerian press on Sunday.

“Trading by both countries is relatively balanced because the UK exports about £4 billion worth of goods and services to Nigeria while Nigeria exports to the UK about £3 billion worth of goods,” Montgomery said.

He credited increase trade relations between the two countries to recent reforms by the Nigerian government to address fuel subsidy removal, oil theft, and forex.

According to him, these changes, encouraged by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s new policies have improved investor confidence, and are attracting UK investors back to Nigeria,

Nigeria was the United Kingdom‘s 39th largest trade partner

BusinessDay reported that in the last six months of year 2023, Nigeria was the United Kingdom‘s 39th largest trade partner, according to the 2023 UK-Nigeria trade and investments factsheets released by the Department for Business and Trade.

Refined oil, toilet and cleansing preparations, textile fabrics, general industrial machinery were the top imported products while crude oil, refined oil, gas, aircraft accessories, and metal ores and scrap were the top exported goods

It was also reported in 2023 that total trade in goods and services between the UK and Nigeria rose by 78.2 percent (or £3.3 billion) to £7.5 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022, from the four quarters to the end of Q4 2021, according to data from UK’s Trade and Investment Factsheet.

Montgomery expects a further boost in trade and investment figures between Nigeria and the UK following the recently signed partnership deal that aims to boost bilateral trade and reduce commercial barriers as Britain seeks to strengthen ties with overseas states post-Brexit.

“Nigeria can benefit and take advantage of a new post-Brexit trading agreement that the UK has put in place that is called the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS). This scheme called the DCTS is one of the most generous schemes in the world in the sense that it removes tariffs on thousands of products from across the world to make free trade easier,” he said.

The commissioner recommended that Nigeria could enhance trade with the UK by exporting agricultural products like cashew, cotton, cocoa, vegetables, and timber.

He also mentioned that sectors such as financial and legal services, education, and the creative industry could benefit from the Developing Countries Trading Scheme.

Growth Getaway

The high commissioner also identified two challenges that have restricted trade with Nigeria including lack of operational knowledge and rigid regulations.

He recommended the Growth Gateway, managed by the UK Department of Business and Trade, for willing exporters.

The Growth Getaway was launched at the Africa Investment Conference in 2022 to connect UK and partner country businesses by delivering technical assistance projects and a dedicated business advisory service for African businesses wishing to trade with the UK or secure UK investment.

This online resource offers sector-specific information, including a page for Nigeria.

The commissioner stressed that meeting UK safety standards is essential for approval into the market, hence the partnership with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to facilitate certification for Nigerian products.