By Emmanuella Anokam
The United Kingdom has urged the Federal Government to consider the issuance of tariff and duty exemption on solar equipment to accelerate Nigeria’s energy access and low carbon energy transition.
This was made known in a communique issued on Tuesday at the end of the fifth ministerial meeting of the UK-Nigeria Economic Development Forum, held virtually.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zanaib Ahmed.
Also, in attendance were the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali and the UK Minister of International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena.
According to the communique, the ministers discussed the critical role of foreign direct investments in the Nigeria non-oil economy during the recovery phase from the COVID-19 pandemic which they agreed was essential to economies of both countries.
It noted that the UK counterpart also presented to the ministers the UK’s new investment deals brokered in renewables, waste management and light manufacturing.
The communique said the meeting agreed that to sustain this effort, they canvassed the duty exemption on solar equipment as a way to accelerate Nigeria’s energy access.
“The meeting agreed that deepening the trade policy relationship between the countries has the potential to benefit both countries and therefore promised to consider options for this in future.
“They discussed the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) as the trade policy framework for Nigeria’s trade with the UK and welcomed UK’s intention to review the GSP with the aim of making it more flexible for partner countries and businesses.
“It singled out the approval of the Nigeria National Quality Policy by the Federal Executive Council as a key milestone in Nigeria’s ambition to diversify its export.
“Including capacity enhancement activities for Standards Organisation of Nigeria and non-oil exports facilitated by the UK in the first quarter of 2021,” the communique read.
It, however, said that the UK welcomed Nigeria’s commitment to disseminate the outputs of the capacity building across all trade-related agencies.
It added that the ministers expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the legal services technical working group.
According to the communique, they agreed that a framework for the legal services partnership can set the foundations for future cooperation in other professional services areas. (NAN)