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Helen Grant, a British-Nigeria Has Been Appointed as UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria

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UK Governments  Appoints a British Nigeria as its Trade Envoy to Nigeria

The British Prime Minister who is saddled with the responsibility of appointing UK Trade Envoys has appointed Helen Grant MP, a British-Nigeria, as the new Trade Envoy to Nigeria.

The new UK trade envoy role is to make necessary preparations that will enhance the UK Government’s trade and investment priorities in Nigeria, and maintain a high-level engagement with Nigerian Ministers, by engaging in key businesses that will promote bilateral trade and lead trade delegations.

UK Trade Envoys are expected to promote trade for UK businesses in developing markets with high-growth in the world, and also give support to the UK’s Department of International Trade.

The new UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Helen Grant speaking on her appointment, she said;

“I am absolutely delighted with my appointment as the Prime Minister’s UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria.  Both countries are close to my heart, my father being Nigerian and my mother English.  Now I have an opportunity to employ my rich dual heritage to help magnify an already strong UK–Nigerian relationship for our mutual prosperity.

As the largest and fastest-growing economy on the African continent, the potential for trade and investment with Nigeria is stunning.  I will do my utmost to help develop that as part of our nation’s collective drive toward an outward-looking global Britain.”

Helen Grant was born in London to a British mother and a Nigerian father, a graduate of law, from the University of Hull. She is married with two sons.

Since the inception of the program in 2012, Helen is the second UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria after John Howell MP.

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Economy

MSMEs Critical to Nigeria’s Economic Development- President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to Nigeria’s economic growth as they contribute about 48 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to Nigeria’s economic growth as they contribute about 48 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo, at the 17th International Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), stated that trade is key to ending poverty and also plays a significant role in the economic growth of any nation.

In his words, “It helps to build wealth and improve foreign reserves. Trade is key to ending poverty across countries, raising standards of living and improving productivity. No economy can thrive without robust trade

“The MSME segment is critical to the stimulation of economic development. Nigeria is estimated to be home to over 40 million MSMEs who, together, contribute about 48 per cent of our GDP. Many of us just see MSMEs as the mamas that fries Akara or the friendly Malam that owns the kiosk on our street.

“That is not the case; some of the fastest growing Fintech start-ups in Africa are in fact MSMEs. This trade fair provides an opportunity to change the narrative of what MSMEs are and demonstrates how innovative they can be.”

“I see enterprises that employ large cross-sections of our youth population. I see enterprises with the capacity to export. I do not see small businesses here, I see future mighty business.”

“The Federal Government is keen to help MSMEs achieve their full potential and has developed strategic policy interventions, enshrined laws and established institutions to create a supportive business environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs.

“In line with this, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMITI) has developed a programme that will enhance access to credit for over 10 million MSMEs at single digit rate.

“Aside from the provision of finance, this project will address key ecosystem issues such as the development of MSME clusters to lower operating costs as well as capacity-building initiatives.

“The Ministry has also commenced the process of adopting a centralised automated platform for the registration of Trademarks, Patents and Designs. The overall objective is to fully digitise existing records and automate the registration process to enable ownership and commercialisation of innovation,” he stated.

It would be recalled that Investors King on October 2, 2022 reported that the federal government has directed the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to step up its efforts to increase its funding for MSMEs.

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Economy

High Interest Rate Will Hurt New Job Creation, Exacerbate Unemployment – Manufacturers Tells FG

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of MAN Segun Ajayi-Kadir, manufacturers disclosed that the increase in the Monetary Policy Rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio portended worrisome negative consequences for the manufacturing sector.

MAN noted that the increase in MPR from 14 percent to 15.5 percent would rub off negatively on other rates and dash the hope for a single-digit lending rate for the productive sector of the economy.

It further said that the recent development would lead to an increase in the cost of borrowing by manufacturers, further beyond the double-digit rate, which would disincentivize new investments in the sector.

The statement read in part, “The observed continuous contractionary monetary policy posture without complementary fiscal support may not effectively reduce the prevailing inflationary pressure on the economy.

“This is not unconnected with the fact that the current increase in consumer price index as reported by NBS is not largely driven by the monetary phenomenon, as self-inflicted weak foreign exchange rate management can be linked to the pressure.”

MAN disclosed that the rate hike would cause increased factor costs which will inflate the price of  products, stating that it was hopeful that the CBN would creatively go beyond the conventional monetary management system because global economic dynamics were changing and conventional measures might no longer be effective.

The statement further read, “It is important that the monetary authority strategically set in motion mechanism for holistic balancing of the real interest rate, which is critical to investment and not just following leading economies to adjust Interest rate without considering domestic peculiarities.”

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Economy

President Buhari to Present N19.76 Trillion 2023 Budget on Friday

Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari will present the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget to the joint National Assembly on Friday

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President Muhammadu Buhari - Investors King

Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari will present the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget to the joint National Assembly on Friday, according to Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The Senate President disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja, saying the presentation would take place at 10:00 am at the temporary chamber of the House of Representatives.

According to the details of the draft presented to the House of Representatives, crude oil was benchmarked at $70 a barrel while oil production was estimated at 1.69 million barrels per day (mbpd) for 2023.

The federal government projected the Naira-Dollar exchange rate at N435.57 despite the black market trading at over N700/US$. Also, it was forecasted that the inflation rate would moderate from the current 20.52% to 17.16% while the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was pegged at 3.75%, slightly above 3.55% estimated for 2022.

“Growth is expected to moderate to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.

“The inflation rate is projected to average 17.16% in 2023, up from the revised average of 16.11% for 2022.

“Upward pressure on prices is expected to be driven by the current and lag effect of the global price surge due to the Russian-Ukraine war, domestic insecurity, rising costs of imports, exchange rate depreciation, as well as other supply-side constraints.”

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