UK to Accept Naira Payments from Nigerian Entrepreneurs in the UK
British Government on February 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it will begin accepting Naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the United Kingdom.
Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Dapo Adelegan, says acceptance of payment in Nigerian currency (Naira) by the British Government will enhance trade and technology transfer between the two countries.
The Naira will become one of three West African currencies that UK Export Finance has pre-approved for its programme of funding transactions that promote trade with UK.
Adelegan said “the initiative was a monumental step that will deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.” He made this known in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright said “this initiative is a clear indication of the value the United Kingdom placed on its relationship with Nigeria.”
Arkwright added that the step would increase trade and investment between Nigeria and UK.
“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 stated.
Discussing the new development, Joyce Akpata, the Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), said the initiative will ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.
“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.
“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 also 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 will assist businesses to maximize opportunities and strengthen trade ties.
Nigeria and Uk business trade valued at £8 billion
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.
This values shows the United Kingdom still get most of her petroleum products from Nigeria.
Recall that UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, which has forced London to rethink its trade ties with the rest of the world. It has said it would start preliminary talks with India about an eventual bilateral trade deal.
The United Kingdom and the EU struck an agreement in December that opened the way for talks on future trade ties.