‘Exports, tech, others to Foster UK-Nigeria ties post-COVID-19’

Experts have predicted that export action of value-added products and technology development will strengthen the ties between Nigeria and the United Kingdom post-COVID-19.

They spoke at a webinar on ‘Nigerian-British Bilateral Relationship Post COVID-19’ hosted by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce.

They stressed the need for the Nigerian government to create a conducive for investment and identified agriculture and mineral resources as other potential industries that would boost Nigeria’s economic growth.

The Vice President, NBCC, Mr Bimbo Olashore, stressed the need for the government to harmonize exchange rates, focus on infrastructural development, provide a more conducive business environment and intensify diversification of the economy in order to attract investment post-COVID-19.

He said, “COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity for us to do things we have always talked about in the past. We have the infrastructure and certain business challenges and a number of those things are now being addressed. There are some investments that are going on that will make the business environment more conducive. The cost of governance is an area we need the government to work on. But there is still a lot to do.”

According to him, Nigeria businesses can benefit more from the British government by developing value-added products for export.

He stressed, “The first thing is to look at the value chain of some of the things that we do. It is quite key to improve the quality of export products. We see a lot of opportunities for Nigeria in cocoa, rubber, sesame seeds and ginger exports.

“We also need to develop our solid minerals. If we improve on our infrastructure, the manufacturing base can grow.”

The British Deputy High Commissioner for Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, said the UK government was rendering business support services to the technology sector, especially digital health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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