File image of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and President Muhammadu Buhari during their bilateral meeting at the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, 2020. (Photo by Eddie MULHOLLAND / POOL / AFP)

THE United Kingdom-Nigeria Trade and Investment Mission Summit, on the theme ‘Road to improve and strengthen trading and investment relationships,’ will hold in London on April 22, with a lunch reception and opening ceremony hosted by Lord Taylor of Warwick, in the House of Lords Westminster Parliament.

The trade mission aims to create opportunities for more direct engagements and indepth discussions on the potential benefits of post-Brexit Britain going global and Nigeria trade and investment relations opportunities, the challenges of public sector-led policies and driven initiatives for mutual economic growth and social development.

  According to the organisers: “We are very hopeful of discussions and resolutions on the UK regulatory frameworks and understanding the Nigeria standardisation and quality challenges of produce/food export direct to the UK, which at the moment is in deficit in comparison to other key export countries, such as Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.

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  “For example, Kenya is expected to be a net exporter of mango fruits to the UK. What stops Nigeria’s mango farmers from competing favourably on this agro-produce export post-brexit opportunities.

  “In view of this, the parliamentary discussions would be centred on legislation, rules and regulations of import/export relations between Nigeria and the UK exports.

“It’s a known factor in the industry that many Nigerian produce pass through third-party countries into the UK market. The Summit aims to explore how this can be mitigated for the mutual benefit of both countries.

  “There is also the need for a bilateral engagement to further understanding why, unlike the above mentioned countries, the UK and Nigeria are yet to confirm a post-Brexit trade deal for their export commodities and investments.

  “We hope to see an outcome that would enable Nigeria’s agro-export communities compete favourably on agro-commodities in which they have comparative advantage in Africa.

  “This would require a well guided meeting between the two ministers of Trade and Investment, with key policy makers, to reconsider the place of Nigeria in post-Brexit era of sustainable development.”

  Nigeria now has one of the fastest growing SMEs in agro-business, fintech and info-tech innovations, though lacking key experts and investment support, major bites of the market economy that requires urgent intervention from foreign and Diaspora-led engagements.

 They said engagements and discussions in London and Peteborough, will see the delegates meeting and inter-facing with key experts and investors from the agro-business, fintech, info-tech, renewable energy and infrastructure.

  The ultimate objective is to open up Britain to Nigeria; for Nigerians and friends of Nigeria to increase trade and investment in SMEs through fair import/export regulatory system and cooperation.

  The organisers hope to have a robust engagement among key public and private sector stakeholders, with Nigeria’s Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, as the Special Guest of Honour and Delegation Lead.

  There will be a delegation courtsey visit to Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Amb. Sarafa Tunji Isola, who is also expected to attend, as well as parliamentary co-host and private secretary for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sports, Paul Bristow (MP).

Other expected participants are UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade,  Anne-Marie Trevelyan (MP); Special Guest Speaker and Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Nigeria, Helen Grant (MP); Commonwealth Special Guest and Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland (QC); Special Diplomatic Guest of Honour and Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK,  Amb. Morie Komba Manyeh and Royal Guest and Atyero of Aramoko Ekiti, Amb. Olusegun Aderemi (JP).

  Others are Trade Mission Summit Dinner Host and Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation (UK), Robin Marsh; London Business Breakfast and Dinner Hosts, Harry Burns, Bolaji Sofoluwe, Greg Swenson, Brigg Macadam, Stephen Cartwright; as well as Peteborough Sessions Hosts- Member of Parliament for Peteborough, Paul Bristow (MP); Deputy Mayor for Cambridge and Peteborough and Leader of Peteborough City Council, Wayne Fitzgerald and Opportunity Peteborough’s Tom Hennessy.

  Also billed to attend as Special Guest of Honour is Peteborough City Council’s Tom. Stevens; Vincenzo Pampararo, with Mobin Rafiq, Chairman of Commonwealth Entrepreneur Club (UK); K. Blackman, Member of Parliament for Aberdeen North; David Smith, Chairman of British African Business Alliance; Prof. Steve Azaiki.

Member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Umana Okon Umana of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority; Sir. Richard Heygate of Treleavan Capital (UK); Ms. Nidda Sabbagh; Dr. Richard Myhill of London International Youth Science Forum, Imperial College, University of London;

Prof. Ngozi Okike, Chair of Book Aid for Africa; Sonny Iroche of African Studies Centre, University of Oxford; David Apollos, Chairman of Across Atlantic Plc, UK; Shonga Herbert M’ocecwa of Shonga Investments,  Zambia; Prof. Ezendu Ariwa of Bedfordshire University; Dr. Gregory Roberts of Afro-Caribbean Market Place (UK) and many more businesses.

The organizer said could be used to get more information on the summit.

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