The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, has urged the government of the United Kingdom to address some of the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, particularly with regard to restrictions and tariffs.
Adebayo made the call while speaking at the sixth ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum held virtually on Friday.
A statement issued by his spokesperson, Ifedayo Sayo, quoted him as saying, “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 expressed hope 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 would be prioritised.
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, Zainab Ahmed, and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Ahmed Ali, for 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 said.
On the agreements reached at the forum, he said, “I wish to emphasise the need to revive the work streams 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.”