From Franca Ochugbo
The United Kingdom has called on the federal government to consider granting tariff and duty exemption for solar panels in order to accelerate Nigeria's energy access and transition to low carbon energy.
In this respect, both countries are expected to form a bilateral technical group to examine the proposal and report to the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Minister of Finance.
These were part of the communiqué issued at the end of the virtual fifth ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum (EDF).
The meeting was attended by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zanaib Ahmed, Plenipotentiary of Nigerian Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) and British Minister Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for international trade, discussed the crucial role of FDI in the country's non-oil economy during the recovery from the pandemic, which was essential for both countries' economies.
Manufacturing Africa also presented the UK's new investment agreements for renewable energy, waste management and light industry to ministers. In order to maintain these efforts, it was agreed to obtain tariff exemption for solar panels in order to accelerate access to energy in Nigeria.
The meeting agreed that deepening trade relations between the two countries could have the potential for both countries and therefore promised to consider options for doing so in the future.
They also discussed the General Scheme of Preferences (GSP) as the trade policy framework for Nigeria's trade with the UK and welcomed the UK's intention to review the GSP to make it more flexible and easier for partner countries and businesses to use.
At the meeting, the National Board's approval of Nigeria's National Quality Policy (NNQP) was highlighted as an important milestone in Nigeria's export diversification efforts, including capacity-enhancing activities for the Nigerian Standards Organization and non-oil exports supported by the UK in the first Quarter of 2021
“The UK welcomed Nigeria's commitment to disseminate capacity-building results across all trade-related agencies,” the communication said.
Ministers welcomed the progress made by the legal services technical working group presented by their co-chairs. They agreed that a framework for partnership with legal services can form the basis for future collaboration in other areas of professional services.