The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Thursday partnered with the United Kingdom(UK) on sectors beneficial to making Nigeria a highly industrialized and export driven nation.
The partnership was brokered at a meeting on International Development Funding organised by the LCCI and UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in Lagos.
Dr Michael Olawale-Cole, President, LCCI, noting that UK economy was highly industrialised, said it had competitive manufacturing and services sectors with high production levels for local consumption and export.
According to him, in this regard, the transfer of technical assistance, knowledge, and facilitation of transaction for Nigeria manufacturers will enhance the production techniques and improve the skills of workers.
He added that it would also boost their competitiveness, and set the platform for easy expansion.
He revealed that the event was a conversation on opportunities for investment in the manufacturing sector, where each qualified company can receive up to $10 million worth of technical assistance, knowledge transfers and funding.
The LCCI President said it would help scale up their businesses through the 7-year Manufacturing Africa Programme, critical at a time when Nigeria’s foreign direct investment has declined.
He noted that UK ranked top as source of capital imported into Nigeria in the third quarter of 2021 with a value of $709.8 million accounting for 40.99 per cent of total capital imported in the period under review.
“Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $450,000,000,000 and a population of about two hundred million people.
“With Lagos as the commercial nerve center of Nigeria and the economic hub of the west African subregion, the LCCI is in a strategic
position to promote trade and investment between our two countries.
“The Lagos Chamber, over the years, has been championing the promotion of trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
“This business meeting will not only improve Nigeria-UK trade relations but will also boost diplomatic ties and political alignment between the two countries.
“Together, we are making a new commitment to boosting trade relations between Nigeria and United Kingdom,” he said.
Ms Grace Cramer, Manufacturing Advisor, Manufacturing Africa, a UKaid initiative, said that it was working to address two key Nigerian challenges which were a growing labour force and the need to diversify the country’s economy.
Cramer said the program overview would provide transaction facilitation for investors and companies, technical assistance to government and investment promotion agencies among other initiatives.
She said that in Africa alone, 9 deals worth $246m with 4,400 job capacity creation were being supported under the program with a pipeline of 200 more additional deals identified for support.
“Manufacturing Africa has supported a wide range of investment opportunities with 90 deals in progress with a potential of $2billion and 30,000 direct job creation.
“However, green manufacturing is a key focus for Manufacturing Africa with a new report published last month outlining the key challenges and opportunities.
“Governments and international organizations should set ambitious targets and put in place the supportive regulatory environments to drive the
sector towards decarbonization.
“Investors and corporates who can move fast and anticipate the changes, can seize new green manufacturing business opportunities, she said.