Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday lamented the low level of trade between Nigeria and other countries in Africa and expressed optimism that the Federal Government would in the short term correct the trade imbalance.
Osinbajo said this in Abuja during an Intra-African Trade Fair engagement session organised by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.
The Vice President said while South Africa’s trade as a percentage of total trade within the continent was about $32bn or 25 per cent, Nigeria’s portion of intra-African trade was just $7.1bn, which is about 5.5 per cent.
He stated that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari understood the importance of trade in creating jobs and attracting investments, adding that the government was determined to increase the level of Nigeria’s trade in the region.
In order to achieve this objective, Osinbajo said Nigeria would participate effectively at the IATF scheduled to hold in December.
The fair, which will be hosted by Egypt, is expected to have 1,000 exhibitors and over 70,000 participants.
The Vice President stated, “South Africa’s share of intra-Africa trade as a percentage of the total African trade is 25 per cent or $32bn, while Nigeria’s share of intra-African trade as a percentage of the total is only 5.5 per cent or $7.1bn.
“Despite the volume of informal trade, which may not have been captured, we realise the need to seize this opportunity of this trade fair to promote Nigeria-African trade. I would like to assure you that Nigeria will participate effectively at that trade fair and use it effectively as an opportunity to showcase its trade and investment opportunities, which are indeed very vast.”