Nigeria and britain relationship

Nigeria and the UK -

nigeria and britain relationship

I have been asked to talk about Nigeria – British relations over the next one hundred years. Given the rate of change in the world in just the last. TL;DR: Nigeria had been a British protectorate since the 1st of January until its independence from the United Kingdom on the 1st of October Nigeria. Nigeria is an obvious partner for the UK. Theresa May's visit in August was an important step in reviving a relationship which has been.

That is another change I see as a real opportunity to deepen the bond we share. But I will start with our shared values as countries, and how the UK and Nigeria can work together to promote democracy. The example of President Goodluck Jonathan in standing down to allow an opposition leader to take office has set the tone for elections in West Africa.

It has shown how far democracy has come in Nigeria since The leadership and engagement of President Buhari in The Gambia recently, when a sitting President did not follow the example of leaving office having lost an election, showed how there is no appetite now in West Africa to allow leaders to evade the democratic process.

We in the UK will experience another general election shortly — on 8th June. That follows our momentous referendum last year and our decision to leave the European Union.


Some are concerned about the disruptive effective these democratic moments can have. I have faith in the strength of our institutions in the UK and in Nigeria to allow for successful, peaceful elections. For Nigeria, elections in will be the next big moment in its democratic journey. The UK will stand with Nigeria and with its institutions, like the Electoral Commission INEC, to ensure those elections are handled at least as well as the elections in Those of you who will engage in politics either as candidates or as funders of parties know that all Nigerians have a responsibility to ensure that each election in Nigeria is better, more peaceful, and more credible than the last one.

Category:Nigeria–United Kingdom relations

Nigerian voters expect nothing less. And all Nigerians have a responsibility to vote too, to engage in the political process. The UK and the rest of the international community will be watching and helping in every way we can to ensure all respect and follow the rules ahead of and through the elections. Just as we did in So I firmly believe that our shared belief in democracy forms part of our future together as nations, encouraging others in Africa and beyond Africa to take the same path towards democracy.

That shared belief and confidence in democracy is just one example of our wider shared values.

Nigeria Britain relations

The UK and Nigeria believe all children have a right to better themselves through education. The UK Government has said that across Africa through our spending on international development in the next 5 years we will support 5. I am discouraged, but not despondent, about the large number of children in Nigeria who do not go to school.

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I am particularly concerned at the number of girls who are excluded from the education sector. In northern Nigeria, more than 50 per cent of girls have no experience of formal education and 80 per cent of women and young girls can neither read nor write. That is not acceptable.

It is something together we the UK and Nigeria must address. As I heard John Kerry say a few years back, any team that keeps half of its best players on the bench will not achieve its full potential. And why we helped almost fourteen thousand more in to improve their literacy.

Every year two million young people join the Nigerian workforce. They look for jobs in companies many of you own. So it is in our mutual interest to ensure whether they come from the north of Nigeria or any other part of the country that the work force that emerges has the skills you as employers need. It is just as important that the private sector in Nigeria combines its efforts to create jobs to meet that massive demand for work that Nigeria faces.

Some people make comparisons between the relationship the UK has with its former colonies and the relationship other countries — like France — have with their former colonies. Others point to new partners in Africa like China and say the UK should do what they do and act as they do. But the UK has its own relationship with Nigeria and I prefer it. As a development partner in Nigeria, the UK remains steadfast in our support for the people of Nigeria.

We continue to spend just under half a billion UK pounds each year on development assistance in Nigeria.

nigeria and britain relationship

The UK has been among the leaders of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in the north-east of Nigeria. In in Nigeria, we delivered food assistance to more than 1 million people and treated 34, children at risk of death from severe under-nourishment.

nigeria and britain relationship

We provided essential household items to more thanpeople who have fled from their homes and provided more thanpeople access clean water and sanitation. The north-east of Nigeria can seem a long way from here in Lagos. I know many of you are acting to help those most in need there.

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The UK has a commitment, enshrined in UK law, to spend 0. The UK will remain steadfast in our resolve to partner with Nigeria to support social and economic development. But I see a future where Nigeria, by virtue of the policies and investment that current leaders make, will require less aid to develop.

Where our development partnership could grow to be more an exchange of ideas, a transfer of technologies, a genuinely balanced trade relationship. And the UK will use its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, G7, and of course, the Commonwealth to help and support peace and security with Nigeria in Africa and throughout the world.

Now I want to turn to trade and our trading relationship with Nigeria. Some people say the UK has withdrawn from trade and investment in Nigeria and Africa. The UK is still the largest European overseas investor in sub-saharan Africa, and the second largest globally.

nigeria and britain relationship

Shell, a British-Dutch company, has invested billions of pounds into Nigeria and has around sixty onshore or shallow water oilfields and seven hundred wells. Nigeria remains the largest oil producing country in Africa, in spite of the depressed price of oil at this time.

But I want British businesses to think beyond the oil and gas sector. The UK could regain its position as the top non-oil trading partner with Nigeria. I meet British companies all the time who are interested in the other sectors Nigeria has to offer: I also encourage smaller and medium sized British companies to come to Nigeria to trade.

We can be innovative, and encourage franchising of British companies in Nigeria as Hamleys have famously taken forward. We will be launching a new report on Franchising on May here in Lagos, and I hope many of you will be able to make time to attend the launch.

We are clear that will not happen. The UK has been, and always will be a trading nation, keen on entrepreneurship and innovation, sustaining old ties, and forging new ones. We are very proud that the UK is still the fifth largest economy in the world, and ranked in the top six globally for ease of doing business. More than ever, we want to safeguard our reputation for providing an environment in which companies can prosper and pioneer for the future.

nigeria and britain relationship

The characteristics which have made the UK a world leader in financial and other services have not altered with the decision to leave the European Union. Nor has our openness to business from around the globe. These reforms have helped Nigeria leap up 24 places in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings, released this week - one of the top 10 most improved countries on the list. But it is a start. And should give encouragement to stand against those who say that nothing can be done.

Encouraging greater investment is key to the work that the UK government is supporting in Nigeria. Our broader relationships are also strong - the UK is home to a large Nigerian diaspora, is one the largest source of remittances into Nigeria, and we share historical, cultural and sporting ties, with heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua celebrated as much here in Nigeria as he is in the UK. I understand he credits part of his power to the pounded yam of his Nigerian family roots. Our Secretary of State for International Development spoke of the UK's commitment to harnessing capital market tools to boost investment that can create jobs, increase tax revenues, and deliver inclusive growth.

In the past two months our Department from International Trade team has hosted two large delegations from Nigeria - on infrastructure and agriculture, two major priorities for both the UK and the Nigerian governments where we see great potential for cooperation, investment, and growth.

We heard great interest from investors in the City of London, as well as agri-tech and processing innovators in the UK about partnering with Nigerian states and companies to boost a priority sector for growing incomes, jobs, and exports in the future.

nigeria and britain relationship

The substantial poultry farming and maize production in Oyo State provide great opportunities, and we are working hard to encourage UK firms to partner with Nigerian producers, to help develop the processing value chains here.

The UK's Trade Envoy, John Howell MP will be visiting Lagos next week to take forward those talks and build on the exchanges to help drive further cooperation as we work together to build on the great potential that Nigeria has. Because we have to turn that into reality. Several things will help us achieve this: This is why UK-Nigeria relationship is one of partnership - of governments, officials, businesses, and most fundamental of people.