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Nigeria, UK Seek Stronger Ties as Trade Value Hits £5.5bn

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trade value

By Adedapo Adesanya

The governments of Nigeria and the United Kingdom have disclosed that the trade value between the two countries in 2022 stood at £5.5 billion.

This was disclosed in a statement jointly signed by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, and UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Mrs Helen Grant, at the 8th ministerial meeting of the United Kingdom-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF).

“Of this £5.5 billion, total UK exports to Nigeria amounted to £3.3 billion in the four quarters of 2022, while total UK imports from Nigeria amounted to £2.2 billion in the four quarters of Q2 2022,” it said.

The statement said that UK and Nigeria reaffirmed their commitment to deepen the trade relationship between both countries.

“It was a confirmation of their shared interest in pursuing an enhanced trade and investment partnership for increased engagement.

“UK and Nigeria agreed that the enhanced trade and investment partnership will offer an alternative high-profile mechanism to progress bilateral economic issues of mutual strategic importance.

“Under this, both sides will continue to work together to resolve market access issues and enhance economic cooperation,” the statement said.

It quoted the UK International Trade Secretary, Ms Kemi Badenoch, as saying, “Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and I’m delighted to see our trade and investment links grow, already worth £5.5 billion.

“The successes of the EDF over the last four years have helped address crucial market access barriers and boosted our exchanges in key sectors such as legal and financial Services.

“I welcome the shared interest in exploring an enhanced trade and investment partnership between our nations that will open up new opportunities for UK and Nigerian business, create jobs, and future-proof our economies against a changing world.”

Ms Badenoch said that the UK recently inaugurated the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) with enhanced preferences for Nigeria-UK Trade and Investment.

According to her, the new scheme which will come into effect in early 2023, will cut tariffs on hundreds of everyday products from developing countries.

Similarly, UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Mrs Helen Grant, said “the UK and Nigeria go far when we go together.

“We are supporting Nigeria on the path to becoming a higher-growth, more inclusive, and more sustainable economy as we move toward the 2023 elections.

“This is part of a wider push by the UK to drive a free trade, pro-growth agenda across the globe, using trade to drive prosperity and help eradicate poverty.

“A potential enhanced trade and investment partnership would include a series of commitments to tackle non-tariff market access barriers to deliver tangible results for businesses in both the UK and Nigeria,” she said.

“This will be welcome news to Nigerian exporters. It will equally extend tariff cuts to hundreds of more products exported from Nigeria and other developing countries, going further than the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

“This is on top of the thousands of products, which Nigeria can already export to the UK duty-free,” she said.

On his part, Mr Adebayo said that it was important that what comes out of the working group builds upon its principles and strengthens its outcomes.

“I know that both Nigeria and the United Kingdom have exchanged policy papers detailing how they wish to proceed, and I look forward to feedback as both papers are reviewed.

“I have always held the strong conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity and solution.

“Increased collaboration with Nigeria and other developing markets is needed to mitigate against both current and potential future supply-chain challenges.

“To this end, the introduction of the Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) is warmly welcomed.

“The reduction in tariffs on hundreds of everyday products should be a win for both Nigerian exporters and UK consumers who are able to access our products at a lower price,” he said.

The minister said that in 2021, UK exports to Nigeria in Dollar terms were $1.64 billion, and Nigerian exports to the UK were valued at $1.12 billion.

“Not too far apart. As we move into 2023, it will be good to see the DCTS grow these numbers,” he said.

Mr Adebayo said that increasing bilateral trade was key for both nations, and the agreement must strategically promote its increase.

“We must continue to work together to resolve market access issues and enhance economic cooperation.”

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

NDEP, Geo-Fluids Lift OTC Bourse by 0.06%

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Niger Delta Petroleum Resources NDEP

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 0.06 per cent appreciation on Tuesday, January 31, spurred by higher buying interests.

In the session, the bourse, which admits unlisted securities, saw improvement in the prices of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc and Geo Fluids Plc.

NDEP Plc gained N13.00 yesterday to sell at N200.00 per unit versus Monday’s closing price of N187.00 per unit, while Geo-Fluids grew by 6 Kobo to settle at N1.04 per share compared with the previous day’s 98 Kobo per share.

The gains reported by the duo reined in on the N1.07 loss posted by FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, as it closed at N65.00 per unit, in contrast to the preceding session’s N66.07 per unit.

As a result, the market capitalisation of the OTC bourse appreciated yesterday by N520 million to N932.15 billion from N931.63 billion, and the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) swelled by 0.40 points to 709.39 points from the 708.99 points reported on Monday.

Tuesday’s market data revealed that there was a jump in units of securities exchanged as investors bought 20.4 million units of stocks which is 531.2 per cent higher than the 3.2 million units traded previously.

However, the value of securities traded amounted to N29.5 million, 15.3 per cent lower than the N4.9 million achieved a day earlier, as the number of deals went down by 17.7 per cent to 14 deals from 17 deals.

Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis for selling 321.2 million units worth N317.2 million, UBN Property Plc stood in second place with 35.7 million units valued at N25.7 million, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc was in third place with 2.0 million units valued at N133.0 million.

Also, Geo-Fluids Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 321.2 million units valued at N317.2 million, VFD Group slid to second with 561,810 units sold for N137.0 million, while FrieslandCampina Wamco Group Plc was in third place with 2.0 units valued at N133.0 million.

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Economy

Tinubu Lambasts Buhari Over Fall in Naira Value at Forex Market

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Tinubu Buhari fall in Naira

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023, election, Mr Bola Tinubu, has again criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for weakening the Naira in the foreign exchange (FX) market.

Speaking on Tuesday in Cross River State for his campaign, the former Governor of Lagos State said Mr Buhari’s administration had bastardised the Naira’s value from N200 to a Dollar he met the rate in 2015 to nearly N800/$1 at the moment in the parallel market.

“They (the government of Mr Buhari) moved the exchange rate from N200 to N800 (in the black market).

“If they had repaired it, if they have arrested this, we won’t be where we are today. We will have been greater.

“They don’t know the way, they don’t know how to think, they don’t know how to do [it],” Mr Tinubu, who clinched the party’s ticket for the exercise, said.

This is not the first time the seasoned politician has slammed President Buhari openly.

Recall that a few days before the APC presidential primary in Abuja, he claimed to have helped Mr Buhari chase the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Aso Rock in 2015 after past attempts without success.

He said this in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he also returned to some days ago to accuse the government of working to frustrate his success at the polls later this month through anti-people policies.

“We will use our PVCs to take over government from them. If they like, let them create a fuel crisis; even if they say there is no fuel, we will trek to vote.

“They are full of mischief, they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create a fuel crisis but forget about it. Relax, I, Asiwaju, have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed,” he said at the campaign rally.

“Whoever wants to eat the honey embedded in a mountain won’t worry about the axe. Is that not so? And if you want to eat palm kernel, you would bring a stone and use it to break it; then the kernel will come out. It’s not easy to…

“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote, and we will win even if they changed the ink on Naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought,” he said.

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Economy

MTN, NGX Partnership Has Attracted Younger Investors to Capital Market—Popoola

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attracted younger investors NGX

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The chief executive of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, has described the deal signed between the bourse and MTN Nigeria in 2022 as a game-changer, saying it has successfully attracted younger investors to the capital market.

Recall that in February 2022, both parties sealed a partnership aimed at using technology to offer financial securities to retail investors who had stayed away from the capital market.

The two-year deal was sealed to promote financial literacy further and enhance retail participation in the Nigerian capital market. It was made to develop capital market solutions collaboratively, leverage technology to support data dissemination and technology-as-a-service, promote capacity development and eliminate barriers to retail participation in the capital market.

Yesterday, to mark the first anniversary of the collaboration, the chief executive of MTN Group, the parent firm of MTN Nigeria, Mr Ralph Mupita, was hosted to a closing gong ceremony.

At the event, he said within a year of signing the MOU, a lot has been achieved due to the hard work invested on both sides in forging and sustaining a productive partnership:

“At MTN, we believe we have a responsibility to ensure that our customers not only stay connected but can access increasing value and better services through our network, deepening their participation in the digital economy.

“Our collaboration with NGX gave us the opportunity to empower our customer base with the tools and knowledge to engage effectively with the capital market and meet their financial and investment objectives.

“For this, NGX deserves to be commended for democratising access to financial securities and thereby empowering more Nigerians,” he stated.

Also, the chief executive of MTN Nigeria, Mr Karl Toriola, said, “We will continue to identify other areas of cooperation with NGX, and we look forward to a continued mutually beneficial partnership that will contribute to the inclusive growth of the Nigerian economy.”

On his part, Mr Popoola commended MTN for its unwavering efforts in advancing Nigeria’s technology landscape through substantial investments in infrastructure and digital transformation.

“We are proud to acknowledge the advancements made through the successful public offering in 2021 and the MoU signed last year. These initiatives have successfully attracted a notable portion of the younger generation to the capital market, aligning with our goal to increase retail participation.

“I would also like to specially acknowledge the efforts of the financial advisers on the landmark offering led by Chapel Hill Denham.

“We are optimistic about the prospects of a mutually beneficial partnership with MTN that will reinforce the Nigerian economy and foster sustainable growth for the African continent,” he stated.

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