By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, has called on the United Kingdom to address the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, especially with regard to restrictions and tariffs.
This was revealed at the 6th ministerial meeting of the UK to Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF) held virtually on Friday, October 15.
The minister in his words stated, “Inasmuch as we are flexible and committed to facilitating UK business concerns, we also request that the UK should continue to reciprocate and address the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, especially with regard to restrictions and tariffs.”
Mr Adebayo also expressed optimism that as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic eases on economies, efforts towards building the capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises to attain relevant certifications for export to the UK and the European Union (EU) markets will be prioritised.
He stressed the importance of the trade policy relationship between the two countries and pointed out that work was in progress towards reviewing Nigeria’s trade policy document to reflect the current realities.
He further commended the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Hameed Ibrahim Ali for being proactive in improving trade facilitation for UK businesses in Nigeria.
“It is my hope that the UK remains committed to facilitating deliberations for the purpose of addressing issues raised at the 4th Business Dialogue,” he added.
Following the agreements resulted in the forum, the minister noted the need to revive the workstreams with timelines, which had been adopted in the past, as a means of keeping track of the country’s 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,” he said.