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‘Economy needs seven per cent growth to stabilise’


Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman

UK-Nigeria bilateral trade hits £3.4b
The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Charles Bowman, has said that Nigeria’s growth must increase from the current snail-pace of two per cent to at least six or seven per cent.

Reason: The rapidly rising population and the current sluggish economic growth rates portend declining per capita for the foreseeable future as forecast by global institutions, while Nigeria needs to about three to four million jobs each year.

Bowman said: “To ensure the opportunity is harnessed, the economic engine needs to shift up a gear or two” and advised that Nigeria should set priorities in creating investable infrastructure assets, improve access to capital, promote financial inclusion and develop an enabling and compliance based business environment.

This is coming in a series of diplomatic comments, including the recent advise by the Ambassador of the United States of America, Stuart Symington, that the government should educate, create jobs and ensure justice for the citizenry to stabilize the economy.

He further said there are opportunities for London to facilitate the financing of Nigeria’s growing infrastructure, including the green infrastructure as the country moves towards low carbon economy.

Meanwhile, following the strong relationship that exists between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK), the bilateral trade record currently stands at £3.4 billion yearly.

However, the relationship is set to become even stronger as it is forecast to reach £7billion in the next 12 years.

Bowman, who disclosed this, on his visit to Nigeria to promote UK financial and professional services sector, noted that he chose Nigeria as an important bilateral partner that already enjoys a special bond, as evidenced by the important contribution the 200,000 strong Nigerian Diaspora make in the UK.

“London is the global centre for green finance. Nigeria is developing its status in this field and was a pioneer as one of the first governments in the world to issue a sovereign green bond.

“To advance Nigeria’s ambition, the London Stock Exchange will be initiating an international green advisory board spearheaded by the finance and environment ministries to further develop Nigeria’s green finance aspirations,” he said.

He also canvassed the need to rebuild a robust public trust so that people can regain confidence in their respective industries, as trade generates the prosperity, which in turn creates the social cohesion that proves the stability that results in security of everyone.

The Minister of Trade and Investments, Okechukwu Enelamah, told the gathering on steps Nigeria has taken to achieve a one-stop-shop status, as it aspires to be one.

He called for more collaborative efforts between both countries and other relevant stakeholders to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and for effective implementation on ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Enelamah said to address the challenges for creating an enabling environment, there was the need for government to be responsive in creating massive jobs for the teeming youths and also lower the hurdles people face to get jobs.

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