Trade partners scramble for opportunities in Nigeria

By Stanley Oronsaye

Not minding the obvious difficult business climate, Nigeria’s trade partners are still interested in increasing their foothold in the country.

Andy Davidson, deputy director, United Kingdom Trade and Investment department in Nigeria, said though the banking crisis has hampered the growth of businesses in the country, enormous opportunity still abound for other countries to tap into.

He said his office was interested in getting more British companies to come to Nigeria and take advantage of the opportunities. He said while the UK acknowledges the rise in trade between Nigeria and China, there were still areas where British companies can still thrive.

“I don’t worry too much about competition. I worry about British companies and how they should see Nigeria. China is our competitor and we need to find a competitive advantage to compete. It’s that simple. It is a capitalist world and Nigeria is a capitalist society. We need to compete.

“The EU (European Union), the United States, China. We all need to compete together. We all have unique selling points and it is just finding those and make sure we have a level playing field,” Mr. Davidson said.

Nigeria has strong historical ties with the UK and is the country’s 33rd largest overseas market and second largest African market for goods. UK export of goods to Nigeria in 2009 was worth £1.23 while that of services was worth £1.28 billion as at 2008.

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