The Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, has said foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from United Kingdom (UK) into Nigeria may rise from the $1 billion it is presently, to $4.5 billion by 2030.
He disclosed at the Nigeria-United Kingdom Trade Diagnostic Study programme in Abuja recently.
This, Awolowo said could be achieved through strengthening of bilateral trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICA), adding that there was no better time to seize the opportunity than now, when economic diversification has been brought to the fore by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
As far as he is concerned “Nigeria should take advantage of the over two million Nigerian diaspora in the UK to increase food exports.”
Besides, he was of the opinion that if more visa access is granted to qualified Nigerian professionals, the country could enhance its trade in export of services.
He believes that the future of Nigeria lies more in export of services than sectors.
However, he listed some barriers to export in meeting UK standards to include among others, origin reputation, traceability, certifications and logistics.
Also, the Head of Economic Development Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Richard Ough, disclosed that the Economic Development Forum (EDF) between UK and Nigeria was launched as a commitment to support both economies to grow and prosper.
According to him, “Nigeria is a real frontier economy with huge potential for trade and investment opportunities for British firms, and it is a key economic partner to the UK in Africa. Bilateral trade in 2017 was £4.2 billion and has grown an average of seven per cent per annum since 2008.”
He noted that the UK, through the Department for International Development (DFID) was exploring how Nigerian exporters could maximise the use of the existing trade preferences, including by supporting exporters’ dialogue with trade regulators through a Community of Practice as well as identifying market access barriers that could be removed to enhance trade between both countries.
“We are also keen to learn what more can the UK Aid do to assist Nigeria’s non-oil export and its contribution to your country’s economic diversification”, he added.