Accordingly, OlusegunAwolowo, the Executive Director of Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC in a similar submission said that Nigeria needs to maintain a strong economic relationship with Britain in alignment of its membership of the commonwealth.
As the British government’s plan to exit the European Union goes into full swing, the Commonwealth Secretariat on Thursday said that trade between Nigeria and United Kingdom is likely to increase from $3.7 billion to $4.5 billion.
The Commonwealth hinges its optimism on Nigeria’s thriving service industry and the growing contribution of the agricultural sector to the export markets.
Opeyemi Abebe, Trade Adviser to the Commonwealth Secretariat while speaking on the topic ‘Brexit, Opportunities and Challenges’ said the Nigerian government must engage its British counterpart headlong to ensure it harvests wider opportunities that could come from the Brexit and other bilateral trade relations.
The Event which was jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), in Abuja on Thursday had in attendance key stakeholders from the organised Private sector.
“It is good that the discussions is coming now that the British government has triggered article 50 preparatory of their exit. India is already advancing talks with the British government on possible areas of widening trade relations.The Nigeria government must engage deeply with the British government to harvest opportunities of the Brexit and adjust properly to the challenges,” Abebe said.
Besides, Abebe further noted, the proposed Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICA), between both countries, can bring an extra £4.5 billion pounds from 1 billion pounds, by the year 2030. Both countries, however, have to implement programmes to improve trade competitiveness and ease of doing business between them.
“Nigeria’s exports of services to the United Kingdom may be further strengthened with the new trade and Investment arrangements given that a number of professional services sectors are patterned after the UK as enough similarities between the UK and Nigeria to propose the signing of Mutual recognition agreements for identifies professional services sector,” he said.
Speaking further on the objective of the forum, Awolowo informed the the program which was jointly organised by the NEPC and the Commonwealth Secretariat ,was to enable participants have a full understanding on the implications of Brexit on our socio-economic and political environment.
“We are glad that the commonwealth has come to support us in this to help us prepare adequately for trade engagements. It is significant for us to be able to mitigate against the challenges that follows the Brexit as well as harvest the opportunities”Awolowo said.
Experts have maintained that there was need to deepen the trade and investments engagements between Nigeria and the United Kingdom post Brexit adding that there was a range of new products and services that Nigeria could market to the UK therefore helping to diversify it’s export basket.