BEVERLY HILLS, September 01, (THEWILL) – The United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Boris Johnson says “Nigeria has an amazing future”, adding that his country was working towards an economic partnership with Nigeria given its status as the powerhouse of Africa and the biggest economy in the continent.
He also stated that the United Kingdom was partnering with Nigeria in different Areas Including Intelligence sharing in the fight against terrorism, even as the Nigerian government is considering the option of partnering with the UK in the area of housing project.
The UK Foreign Secretary spoke on Thursday when he led a delegation to the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, according to a statement issued by the Vice President’s media aide, Laolu Akande.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, were among other top officials in the delegation.
Osinbajo told his guests that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led administration will continue its drives to promote private sector partnership and that it was ready to provide the necessary assistance to private investors looking to invest in the country.
Disclosing that the relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom was very important, he expressed optimism that “the next few years are certainly going to be more interesting”.
The Vice President stated that Nigeria has huge potential and that “investors would salivate if those potentials were realised” adding that the country was “close to the tipping point in terms of making that happen”.
He pointed out that in terms of trade, Nigeria had no choice but to diversify her economy from oil and that now more attention wss focused on agriculture, agro-processing and more interest in technology.
According to him, “UK are our natural partners and it is much easier for business because of the relationship over time and because of the robust presence of the UK here in Nigeria through the DFID which has been tremendously supportive.”
Osinbajo disclosed that in the area of housing, Nigeria would be looking to partner with the United Kingdom, adding that government was interested in construction companies with the expertise and technical know-how to deliver mass housing projects across the country.
He also emphasized the role of the private sector as well as the role of government in creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
Akande quoted his principal as assuring investors that the Federal Government was ready to partner with them, provide assistance where necessary and solve the problems as they emerge.
In his remarks, the UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Johnson said that “Nigeria has an amazing future”, stressing that his country was partnering with Nigeria in different areas Including Intelligence Sharing in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.
In a related development, Johnson revealed that that a lot of the oil used in the United Kingdom came through the Nigerian Waters.
During a visit to the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Unity at Naval Dockyard Limited in Victoria Island, Lagos, he said, “I congratulate the Nigerian Navy for what it is doing to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We in the U.K are very proud to offer assistance to the navy to become even better in tackling piracy.
“A lot of our oil in the U.K comes through this water so it is very important that they are tackling this problem of piracy.”