Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Mr Dapo Adelegan, says acceptance of payment in Nigerian currency by the British Government will enhance trade and technology transfer between both countries.
Adelegan made the assertion in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
Nesmen recall that the British Government on Feb. 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it would accept naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the UK.
Adelegan said that the initiative was a monumental step that would deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.
The export credit agency said the initiative was a clear indication of the value the UK placed on its relationship with Nigeria.
UKEF added that the step would increase trade and investment between both countries.
“If we look at the quality of manufactured equipment and technology; Made-in-Britain is number one.
“Through this, we will access technology transfer, boost the capacity of workforce and impact on our outputs of consumables and products in the market.
“It is a win-win situation that will go beyond procurement, as there are multiple layers of benefits that this will bring to the economy,’’ Adelegan said.
Ms Joyce Akpata, former Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), also said the initiative would ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.
“The UK has the largest concentration of Nigerians in the diaspora and given cultural ties, it is something that should have happened before now,’’ Akpata said.
The director general said the initiative would improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer.
“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.
“This will enhance the activities of manufacturers, especially the growing SMEs that are into processing.
“It will also take off issues of foreign exchange challenges and instability in the market,’’ she said.
Akpata noted that the scheme would be a welcome opportunity for most Nigerian businesses that could not access financing locally.
She urged other countries, especially the United States, to take a cue from the UK to evolve initiatives that would assist businesses to maximise opportunities and strengthen trade ties.
Trade experts put the value of trade between Nigeria and the UK at about £8 billion, with oil and gas making up 60 per cent of the figure.