Nigerian-british Chamber To Expand £7bn Bilateral Trade Volume
SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has announced its plans to expand the volume of trade between Africa's largest economy and the United Kingdom, which currently stands at £7 billion.
The chamber is also making indefatigable efforts to raise the value of Nigerian exports to the UK, which in 2015 stood at £1 billion.
Last year, the chamber took Nigerian exporters, especially those in the foods industry, to the UK, where they saw enormous opportunities while networking with Nigerians in the country and the British consumers.
“Nigeria exports garri, dry fish and other food products to the UK,” said Adedapo Adelegan, President/Chairman of council, NBCC, in his maiden media briefing held in Lagos.
“There are between one and two million Nigerians living in the UK. In fact, the UK has the highest number of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, and our target as a chamber is to ensure that 50 percent of the products going to the country from Nigeria is non-oil,”
According to the Adelegan, who is also an entertainment giant, public relations expert, and 14th president of the chamber, there is also the need to improve the amount of Nigerian investments going to the UK, as he stressed that the country must begin to think of tapping into the UK economy.
He said the chamber wants to expose opportunities in the UK, while calling on Nigerian billionaires to look at Britain for investment, adding that Nigeria must also make good use of Diaspora fund which the World Bank said stood at $20.6 billion in 2015.
“Nigeria is the only country that has five banks in the UK,” he said.
“The chamber wants to sectorise its membership to adapt to the changing circumstances in the economy.
“We have over 300 companies operating in Nigeria. The economy is changing and we intend to restructure our businesses.”
He said the chamber is setting up the Export Nigeria Club with a view to raising the country's non-oil sector, especially agro export, disclosing that there will be other groups coming, including Professionals Group, Media Group as well as Construction and Real Estate Development Group.
“We will be hosting Babatunde Fashola (Minister of Power, Works and Housing) to discuss the real estate sector. We believe that mass housing can only come when it is affordable. In England some people access mortgage at five percent. The solution is that we need to use local materials if we have to build mass housing. The moment people have access to housing, the moment their productivity increases,” he stated.
He said the present Federal Government must glamorize agriculture to make it more interesting to the youth, adding that he believes as a tourism expert that the country is still not ready for the sector.
“We are still way behind in tourism. It is a shame that at this point, we have no railway or even a tramp. We have no mass transit, and Lagos is the only biggest city without a park,” he said, adding that Nigeria has not had an economy and must now look inwards.
Story by David Oputah