By Pita Ochai
The Nigerian Exports Promotion Council and the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce have sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the level of trade between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
The pact would see both countries coming up with deliberate strategies to boost the level of non-oil exports owing to the decline in oil revenue as well as boosting the volume of bilateral trade from the £8bn (N2.4trn) as of the end of 2014 to £15bn (N4.57trn) by 2020.
The Executive Secretary of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo signed the MoU on behalf of the council, while the President NBCC, Mr. Dapo Adelegan, signed on behalf of the chamber.
Awolowo, while speaking during the event, said the agency has been at the forefront for diversifying the Nigerian economy, noting that this had been further reinforced by the recent decline in the price of oil in the global market.
While admitting that the drop in the price of oil has led to reduction in government revenue with pronounced negative effects on different sectors of the economy, he said the NEPC has identified 13 National Strategic Export Products to replace oil.
He said the potentials of the products which cuts across key sectors of the economy would be maximised through investments, capacity development, innovation and formidable partnerships.
The need to promote the expiration of these products, according to him, was what inspired the pact between the NEPC and the Chamber.
The 13 products include palm oil, cocoa, cashew, sugar, rice, iron ore, metals, aluminium and auto parts.
Others are petroleum products, fertilizer/urea, petrochemicals and methanol.