With Boris Johnson, who promised to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without a deal if necessary now the country’s prime minister, the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF), has increased the export credit finance agreement it signed with Nigeria in February 2018 by £500 million.
In a statement made available to SaharaReporters, UKEF said it had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) that will “foster greater cooperation in trade through co-financing in the form of guarantees and insurance”.
Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa at the UK Department for International Trade, said Nigeria is Britain’s 38th largest trading partner and a strategic market in Africa.
“Nigeria is the UK’s 38th largest trading partner in the world and one of our most strategically important markets on the African continent,” Wade-Smith said.
”The UK’s finance-led export and investment promotion work, supported by the work of UKEF, supports more deals to drive greater value to the UK economy and is instrumental in supporting African markets, such as Nigeria to grow. That’s why I am particularly excited about this MOU agreement between UKEF and NEXIM as it demonstrates the UK government’s long-term commitment to our trading partnership with Nigeria.”
Responding to the £1.25 billion loan which guarantees the import of goods from the UK by the continent’s largest market, Abba Bello, MD of NEXIM bank said: “NEXIM is delighted with this collaboration and transactional partnership opportunity that will further foster commercial exchanges between the countries as well as promote cooperation on technical assistance related to trade towards broadening Nigeria’s export basket, especially of value-added services and solid minerals in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration ERGP strategic objectives of economic diversification and building of a globally competitive economy.”
In the last ten years, UKEF has enabled companies in Britain to export goods worth £76.5 billion to emerging markets like Nigeria. In 2018 alone, the agency provided guarantees worth £6.8 billion to 181 companies in 72 countries— its best result in 28 years.
This department’s effort created 47,000 jobs back home, its performance data for June 2018 to June 2019 shows. Sealing export deals for British firms in emerging economies like Nigeria’s and other Sub-Saharan African markets, is clearly a strategy to weather the storm that will hit its economic base as a result of cutting-off from the EU.