The UK Export Finance (UKEF) will now accept naira payments from Nigerian business owners buying things in the UK.
The UK department of international trade made this known in a statement. The naira financing structure follows the same format as a conventional buyer credit in sterling or any other currency.
The department added that Nigerian businesses buying British goods or services and taking out a loan in naira from a bank in Nigeria can benefit from the UK government-backed guarantee.
“This can enable businesses to manage foreign exchange risks and, many times, to negotiate better terms with local banks,” the statement read.
According to Paul Arkwright, British high commissioner to Nigeria, the arrangement shows the kind of value UK places on its relationship with Nigeria.
“This is a clear indication of how much value the UK places on its relationship with Nigeria.
It will provide a firm foundation for a significant increase in trade and investment between both countries,” he said.
“The UK believes that no one intending to transact with British businesses should be hindered by lack of financing. By allowing Nigerian businesses easier access to world-class goods and services, we are supporting both the Nigerian and the British economy.”
The agreement is the feedback from the UK trade envoy’s visit to Nigeria in November when members of the local business raised the issue.
“We are excited to be able to offer Nigerian, as well as British, businesses the ability to enter trade arrangements that are financially feasible for both sides,” said Ben Ainsley, head of the department for international trade (DIT), Nigeria.
“We listed and took this feedback to London. DIT is ready to work with Nigerian businesses to identify potential trade partners across the market.”
This development makes Nigeria one of the three West African countries on UKEF’s pre-approved currencies list.