New initiatives mulled by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) could drive trade volume between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (U.K.) above projected N7.7 trillion (£20 billion).
The plan led by a ‘stern decision’ to promote made-in-Nigeria products, particularly non-oil goods as well as to harness the potential of Nigerians living in U.K. This could beat the projection that the trade volume between the two countries could hit £20 billion by 2020, the President NBCC, Dapo Adelegan, said while unveiling plans to mark the 40th anniversary celebration of the Chamber in Lagos.
The plans are expected to aid the current administration’s drive to boost export of non oil products and boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings thereby helping the Naira to withstand pressure from major currencies. It will also promote standard that would fast-track acceptance of Nigerian made products as well as encourage local industries, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
But the government would have to sustain efforts and policies to encourage made-in-Nigeria products, Adelegan said, while listing the chamber’s contribution to national development, particularly in garnering business sustainability in different sectors of the economy.
He said: “Despite recession, I see the trade surpassing £20 billion, which was earlier projected for 2020. The value of trade between Nigeria and the U.K. is about £8 billion, and oil makes up 60 per cent of this figure before.”
To him, the days when oil products topped table of trade volumes are gradually fading away, disclosing that foods and condiments accounted for about a billion pounds of export in 2015.
Part of the activities to mark the group’s bilateral relationship between the two countries include a trade Mission to the U.K. in May, focusing on the maritime, mining and mineral resources sectors, finance and investment. There will also be a lecture and photo/arts exhibition in March, including a documentary of milestones covered in the past 40 years, cocktail and launch of NBCC Abuja branch golf tournament in April.
Other activities include a Gala dinner and dance as well as patrons’ investiture first week in June and visits to Anambra, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states.
Adelegan, who lamented the country’s economic situation, stressed the need for the business community not to allow political officeholders frustrate the future of the economy, adding that there is urgent need for diversification.
Patron and former president of the chamber, Akinola Akintunde, urged members and non-members to sign deals for the supply of non-oil products during the chambers trade mission to U.K., noting that many made-in-Nigeria products would be exhibited at the event.
The chamber’s Deputy President, Akin Olawore, expressing optimism, said the group’s initiative would stabilise the economy, and harped on the importance of promoting made-in-Nigeria products. Olawore also promised that NBCC would continue to improve the Nigeria-UK trade relations.
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