The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant and Nigeria’s Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, on Friday held a meeting to discuss opportunities for a wider UK-Nigeria partnership.
The discussion was held at the sixth (6th) meeting of the United Kingdom-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF).
The agenda of the meeting was centred on the state of bilateral trade, challenges and priorities ahead, opportunities to ‘build back better’ from COVID-19, the Nigeria Government’s preparations to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), and plans to implement the revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The meeting which held virtually was joined by Her Majesty’s Acting Trade Commissioner for Africa, Alastair Long, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and other senior government representatives from Nigeria and the UK.
Confirming the strategic importance of the economic development forum, the UK and Nigeria representatives agreed that in the post-COVID era, there is a need to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in non-oil sectors in Nigeria.
They welcomed the continued efforts to encourage UK trade and investment into Nigeria, resulting in a number of commercial wins for UK companies, including a £10.56m deal in the healthcare sector as part of a new build hospital project, and others in the pipeline (including more than £60m of potential FDI in the renewable energy sector.
Grant further stated that she was delighted to have had the opportunity to speak with Nigerian representatives as the UK and Nigeria deepen its trade relationship.
“The Economic Development Forum remains crucial to our efforts to address barriers to bilateral trade and investment between our two countries. It is good to have made progress on financial services and the legal sector, which are both great strengths of the UK.”
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Generate team also made a presentation to mark the upcoming launch of its entrepreneurship Hub in Nigeria with an objective to contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria through corporate and start-up programmes. The Hub will consist of a physical co-working space as well as several entrepreneurship programmes.
In his speech, Mr. Adebayo said,“I am pleased to herald the 6th Edition of the U.K-Nigeria Economic Development Forum. Engagements such as these are crucial in; promoting bilateral trade and investment; implementing strategic initiatives; and appraising our current economic and trade relationship.
”This platform will also provide an opportunity for us to take stock of progress made on our commitments at previous EDFs, and enable us work together to ensure that our bilateral agreements are properly implemented and beneficial to both parties.”