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Adebayo Asks UK To Address Challenges Face By Nigerian Businesses

Ololade Omosan-Agie

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has called on the United Kingdom (UK) government to address the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, especially with regards to restrictions and tariffs.

Speaking at the 6th ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF) held virtually on Friday, he said, “Inasmuch as we are flexible and committed towards facilitating UK business concerns, we also request that the UK should continue to reciprocate and address the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, especially with regards to restrictions and tariffs.”

The Minister also hoped that as the impact of COVID-19 eases on economies, efforts towards building capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises to attain relevant certifications for export to UK and EU markets will be prioritized.

He stressed the importance of the Trade Policy relationship between the two countries pointing out that work was in progress towards reviewing Nigeria’s trade policy document to reflect current realities.

Adebayo commended the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Ahmed Ali for being proactive in improving trade facilitation for UK businesses in Nigeria, saying “It is my hope that the U.K remains committed to facilitating deliberations for the purpose of addressing issues raised at the 4th Business Dialogue.”

On the agreements reached at the forum, he said, “I wish to emphasize the need to revive the workstreams with timelines, which had been adopted in the past, as a means of keeping track of our deliberations and commitments.

“I also encourage periodic stock-taking of our progress, to ensure that we are on course with committing to timelines and most importantly to ensure compliance with agreed decisions.”

Participants at the forum include Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, United Kingdom Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Ms. Helen Grant, MP, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Mr. Alistair Long, British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ben Llewellin-Jones and Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali.

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