Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Nigeria’s Hon. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment has reiterated the commitment of both Nigeria and UK Governments to strengthen their bilateral economic ties through the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Fund (EDF); and both countries have agreed to enhance cross border trade processes and streamline the clearance of goods at the seaports and airports.
This was disclosed during the recent 3rd Ministerial Meeting of UK-Nigeria EDF held through video-conference between Otunba Adebayo and his UK counterpart, Ranil Jayawardena, UK’s Minister for International Trade. Details of their agreement as contained in the communique was signed digitally.
Otunba Adebayo in his presentation said “Reducing the administrative bottlenecks, speeding up steps through technology and innovation is necessary if Nigeria is to meet the standards set by the WTO. Therefore, I am pleased and look forward to working with the UK, not only to enhance our cross-border trade methods but also assist with identifying and bridging gaps to develop our single window in accordance to global standards”.
While affirming UK Government’s commitment to help reduce poverty in Africa, especially in Nigeria through its trade and technical assistance, Ranil Jayawardena commended the decision of Nigeria’s Trade Minister to dialogue with UK business leaders.
He noted that “the coronavirus pandemic highlights just how important it is to keep trade flowing and supply chains open so we can all have the essential supplies we need at this difficult time”.
In view of the meeting, developmental experts have concluded that the UK-Nigeria EDF is a strategic and significant springboard, and a potential template for United Kingdom to reassert its position as the “mother” of the Commonwealth.
There is now an urgent need for UK to galvanize and encourage the Commonwealth countries to develop as a strong economic bloc; considering the current economic world order occasioned by Brexit, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.