NEPC, Afreximbank, NEXIM sign $1bn MOU for NATIPP

•VP says Nigeria’s digital economy worth $88bn by 2021

Afreximbank, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), and Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on $1billion facility for Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (NATIPP) at the Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) in Cairo, Egypt. This is as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced at the IATF that Nigeria’s digital economy will be worth $88 billion in three years.

“Nigeria places a high premium on the economic integration of the continent and we recognise trade as a veritable tool towards Africa we all want – an industrialised, prosperous and peaceful Africa where we generate enough opportunities to accommodate the growing numbers of our people,” said the vice president, who led the Nigerian delegation to the ‘Nigeria Country Day’ at the IATF on Thursday.

Present with him were governors Okezie Ikpeazu and Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Abia and Jigawa States, respectively, and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah.

The Vice President said, “The numbers entering the job market every year in Africa is daunting. And it is clear that increased African trade is one of the surest ways of creating the jobs that are so desperately needed. Therefore, this Intra African Trade Fair, bringing together business communities including innovators and creators both in the merchandise and services industry, from the 55 African Union members and beyond is a remarkable achievement in and of itself.

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“In the second quarter report of our bureau of statistics, services approximately contributed 54 per cent to the GDP with information and communication being the main drivers of growth.

“Clearly, one of the most remarkable developments in Nigeria’s economic story is the phenomenal growth and depth of technology and innovation with hundreds of new companies jostling for primacy in this fast-growing digital economy space. It is estimated that the digital economy in Nigeria will be worth $88 billion and add about three million jobs by 2021.”

Osinbajo added that Nigeria had come with some of the best digital entrepreneurs to exhibit and form partnerships that will jumpstart the continental economy and create African digital business giants.

He highlighted the popularity of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, particularly Nollywood, across Africa as a success story. Nigerian cuisine and fashion exports were also put in the spotlight by the vice president.

The signing of the MOU was witnessed by President of Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah; NEPC CEO, Mr Segun Awolowo, and NEXIM MD, Mr Abubakar Bello.

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