Nigeria, UK to boost trade relations

The United Kingdom and Nigeria are both committed to doubling bilateral trade relations by 2014, said the Acting Deputy High Commissioner, Nigeria British High Commission, Mike Purves.

He stated this in Lagos while receiving the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, UKTI North West trade delegation to strengthen Nigerian SMEs, led by the Shadow Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, Chuka Ummunna.

“This mission is developed in conjunction with the UK trade and Investment North West. And it is an indication that the UK is very much interested in doing business in Nigeria. There have been some suggestions over the years that the UK lost interest in doing business in Nigeria, but that is not true. The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron and Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan are both committed to doubling bilateral trade relations by 2014,” he said.

Purves who maintained that the UK has not lost interest in investing in Nigeria, also noted that UK companies are looking beyond negative perceptions being portrayed of Nigeria.

Also addressing a press conference, the Shadow Secretary, Umunna, said the primary message of the delegation is that the UK government is its commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy. He noted that despite the challenges that the Nigerian economy faces at the moment, it is still experiencing a remarkable growth, adding that Lagos’ economic growth alone surpasses those of most African countries.

“The partnership is on a win-win situation. The two countries are both seeking to expand their economies and they both must look for a way to balance their economic relations,” he said.

Also speaking, the Joint Mission Manager, UKTI, North West, Lynne Gillen, who was part of the delegation said, “UKTI is here to help companies maintain and improve upon economic growth, providing a range of services for everyone, from new and inexperienced exporters to high growth research and development companies. This visit will allow UKTI’s North West build relationships with the exciting market of Nigeria.”

On his part, Femi Fadipe of Roughton International Ltd, who was also part of the business delegation said, “As the Regional Manager for West Africa, my overall objective is to contribute to the development of infrastructure in Nigeria. We are also committed to capacity building for business that we will work with.”

By Jonah Nwokpoku


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