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Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce: The Future of Trade and Investment in Africa

Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) on Thursday, September 17, 2020 hosted the Global Investment Conference in collaboration with the UK Department for International Trade, for the finale of its 2020 Trade Mission.

The President and Chairman of Council of the NBCC, Mr Kayode Falowo said during his welcome address that the purpose of the conference was to discuss issues that will foster trade and investment growth between Nigeria and Britain, such as the impact of the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Foreign Direct Inflows and Economic Risk, Accessing Finance for Increased Trade and the role of Fintech in trade facilitation.

Read Also: AfCFTA: Sec-Gen pledges to work with national presidents to align countries’ local laws with pact

The Conference, which is the debut edition for the Chamber, was themed, “The Future of Trade and Investment in Africa” had various industry experts and seasoned professionals to address the strategy for the future of trade and investment in Africa. Speakers at the Conference were:
• Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment
• Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister for Finance, Budget, and National Planning
• Ms Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner
• Prof Benedict Oramah, President & Chairman of the Board of Directors, African Export-Import Bank
• Mr Segun Awolowo, CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council
• Mr Francis Anatogu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Sector Matters and Secretary National Action Committee on AfCFTA
• Engr. Mansur Ahmed (FNES, FNIM), President, Manufactures Association of Nigeria
• Mr John Uwajumogu, Partner, Transaction Advisory Service, Ernst & Young Nigeria
• Dr Robert Besseling, ED, EXX Africa
• Mr Benson Adenuga – Head of Office and Coverage Director, CDC Group Plc
• Mrs Oluwatoyin Sanni, Emerging Africa Capital
• Mr Kayode Akinkugbe, MD, FBNQuest
• Mr Lami Adekola – Acting Country Director & Investment Officer, Department of International Trade
• Mr Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director, Bank of Industry
• Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, CEO, Ecobank
• Mr Steven Gray, Regional Representative, UK Export Finance
• Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, MD/CEO SecureID Ltd

Delivering the opening remarks, British High Commissioner, Ms Catriona Laing said ‘‘UK Export Finance has increased its risk appetite for Nigeria and can now support transactions up to 1.5bn and this additional support will help companies access finance for projects, open up new and exciting trade opportunities and support mutual prosperity’’
Following the BHC’s remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo said in his Keynote Address that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He also shared that Nigeria’s investment priorities are:
• Promoting the digital economy, considering its potential for growth, job creation and in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on other sectors.
• Domesticating production through various backward sectoral integration plans and under our special economic zones’ projects.
• Exploring opportunities to boost renewable energy financing across the country.

Delivering the Panel keynote address on AfCFTA Professor Benedict Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank said Afreximbank was fully dedicated to implementing the AfCFTA agreement. He also said that despite the pandemic, all hands were on deck to ensure trading kicks off in January 2021 as earlier scheduled. In addition, despite the prevailing belief that the greatest constraint to intra-African trade is inadequate infrastructure, Afreximbank believes limited information was a major constraint and digital technology would be the mainstay that pulls down the borders.
For over 40 years, the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce has been fostering increased trade & investment between Nigeria & Britain. The NBCC is an international affiliate of the British Chamber of Commerce, BCC, which grants its members access to a network of 53 Chambers of Commerce across the British Commonwealth. To watch past NBCC webinars, click here.

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