Nigeria, South Korea bilateral trade volume hits $9.9b

Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (left) Pantami, while assuring investors of improved business climate, especially as the country has exited recession, urged Nigeria to look beyond South Korea and collaborate with other nations that can fast-track growth in the ICT sector.

• Danbatta, Pantami assure investors of safety, RoI

The bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and South Korea has hit $9.9 billion (N3.02 trillion). The Nigeria Charge De ‘Affairs to the country, Lazarus Basaba, disclosed this yesterday in Busan, South Korea, at Nigeria’s organised investment forum at the on-going International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecoms World 2017 conference and exhibition.

A bilateral trade is the exchange of goods between two countries that facilitates trade and investment by reducing or eliminating tariffs, import quotas, export restraints and other trade barriers.

Unfortunately, The Guardian gathered that Nigeria is still at the receiving end, as South Korea has benefitted more from the agreement following its competence in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), energy, electronics, heavy industries and constructions, of which Nigeria has not been able to reciprocate adequately.

The Guardian also learnt that the investment profile of South Korea in Nigeria as at early this year was about $500 million. Basaba, while assuring investors, including those from Canada, Japan, Azerbaijan and South Korea, said the political will for a functional economy had been restored in the country like never before.

He, therefore, urged investors to invest now in the country, stressing: ‘’This is the best time to invest in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari has created the environment that will enable investment and eliminate corruption. There is now rule of law.’’

Also, the Director-General, National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, while assuring investors of improved business climate, especially as the country has exited recession, urged Nigeria to look beyond South Korea and collaborate with other nations that can fast-track growth in the ICT sector.

‘’As we go home, we should implement whatever we see here in Busan, South Korea, in Nigeria. That will ensure that we have learnt and our efforts would not be in vain,’’ he stated.

In the same vein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who stated that potential investors in the telecommunications sector were in for a good time, stressed that the sector’s growth had been on the upward swing.

He said: “The NCC is assuring the investors that our doors are open and that we will do whatever we can within the regulatory mandate assigned to us to ensure that their investment is safe and secure.”

Danbatta, who stated that the NCC would continue to build a reputation “of a firm but flexible agency” to ensure the gains recorded over the past years are sustained, added: “We collaborated with a sister agency to successfully stave off the take-over of a telecommunications company by a consortium of banks. Banks are not competent to run telecom companies, they should concentrate their efforts in making the financial sector more robust, which I believe they are doing. I have no doubt about it.’’



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