Adebayo Urges UK To Address Challenges Of Nigerian Businesses 

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Otunba Niyi Adebayo

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, has called on the United Kingdom to address the challenges faced by Nigerian businesses, especially with regard to restrictions and tariffs.

Speaking at the 6th ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF) held virtually on Friday, Adebayo said, “In as much 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.”

The Minister 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 UK and EU markets will 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 the 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 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.”

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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