Theresa May and Angela Merkel Visit to Nigeria.

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Theresa May and Angela Merkel Visit to Nigeria.


The last week in the month of August was significant in Nigeria’s diplomatic relations.

On Tuesday, 28th, British Prime Minister Theresa May berth in Nigeria as part of her tour of some African countries.

While in Nigeria, the British premier, who was visiting the country for the first time since assuming office in 2016, had a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Miss May, had a 30 man delegation of business moguls, and the visit was described as part of Britain’s attempt to broaden its scope of economic engagement as it prepares for brexit, leaving the European Union.

Then on Friday, 31st, Angela Markel came calling on president Muhammadu Buhari, in her train was a German business delegation.

These visits obviously are indices that, world economic powers still very much repose confidence in the country’s potential.

An icing to the current bilateral knot lies in the fact that China, which recently hosted the 7th summit of the forum China African Cooperation, holds Nigeria as the continent economic giant.

While the current development indicates that the country has lived up to its billing as an investment destination, the indices have not translated too much domestically.

The Nation’s economic growth is not only weighed on the fiscal digits it musters, but also by how well it impacts on the lives of the man on the street.

British Prime Minister Theresa May echoed this thought during her visit. According to her, Nigeria houses the poorest people in the world, while 87 million citizens live on less than a dollar and 90 cents a day.

Nigerian government needs to seriously weigh in on this observation as massive challenge lies before it, despite various economic measures put in place to alleviate poverty and create jobs.

Figures by the National Bureau of Statistics, reveals that unemployment rate increased from 14.02 percent in 2017 to 18.18 percent.

Hence, the strength of the fact that Nigeria remains a potential economic bride, going by the recent visit of Heads of two European economic power houses, should spur government to tap prudently into the business prospect of the bilateral agreements.

It has often been said that the pendulum tilts mostly in the favour of developed countries in matters of bilateral trade arising from the fact that developing countries including Nigeria, are essentially consumer nations.

For example, data from the Nigerian bureau of statistics, NBS, showed that the country exported manufactured goods worth 286 billion naira and imported manufactured goods worth 4.5 trillion naira from the third quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017.

Specifically, in relation to the United Kingdom, Nigeria imported 362.87 billion naira goods from that country and exported 300.66 billion naira to it, making a negative trade imbalance of net export of 62.2 billion naira.

Obviously, the defect in trade imbalance stems from marginal difference in manufacturing potential of Nigeria in contrast to European and Asia power houses.

This is why it has become imperative for the Federal government to work on its diversification of the economy, especially building up the manufacturing sector, by bolstering up individual entrepreneurial skills and funding for SMES.

Unequivocally, the developed economies with whom the country trades have technological advantage, Government therefore needs to frame policies and build institutions to cushion the blow of this runaway inequality and competition so that any business agreement does not leave the local businesses panting and gasping for breath.

Simeon Ugbodovon

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