The United Kingdom has expressed its resolve to collaborate with the Nigerian government to promote stability and security in Nigeria. The UK Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, who disclosed this yesterday, said the UK-Nigeria relationship mattered to both countries. Duddridge, who held series of meetings with government officials, agencies, business leaders and civil society groups, said the UK-Nigeria relationship matters to both countries, especially in strengthening trade and investment cooperation.
He was accompanied by Helen Grant, UK Prime Minister’s special envoy for girls’ education and trade envoy to Nigeria. Part of his itinerary was a high-level discussion with Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama; President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission, Jean-Claude Brou, as well as governors of Kaduna, Jigawa, Lagos and Edo states.
Duddridge also visited Apapa seaport, where he took a tour of a terminal and met with officials of agencies to discuss law enforcement and trade facilitation between the UK and Nigeria.
During the four-day visit, the UK minister covered a wide range of issues, including human rights, girls’ education, and electoral reform. Discussions also centred on how the UK could work in partnership with Nigeria to address insecurity and support economic development as the world builds back better from COVID-19.
Giving a recap of his visit, the minister said, “The UK-Nigeria relationship matters to both countries. Over four days, we have covered a wide range of issues, including how best to strengthen trade and investment cooperation, how to get and keep more girls in school, and how to work more closely together on global challenges such as COVID-19 and on climate change ahead of COP26.”
“I also heard from Nigerian civil society the importance of delivering electoral reform and addressing human rights concerns.
“Nigerian stability and security matters to the UK. We want to work with Nigeria to improve both, and encourage all in the country to work together to promote peace and unity.”
On her part, Grant noted that the meetings afforded her the opportunity to enhance macro-economic reform and promote new trade and investment opportunities for the UK through support to British businesses that want to invest in Nigeria.