President Bola Tinubu has called on the government of the United Kingdom to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria and Africa by increasing investments across various sectors, aiming to achieve sustainable and broad-based prosperity across the African continent.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu made the call on Wednesday during a meeting with the United Kingdom’s Secretary of Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, James Cleverly, at his office.
President Tinubu emphasized the significance of win-win development partnerships between the UK and Nigeria, acknowledging the longstanding symbiotic connection and economic ties between Africa and the UK. He stressed the need for collaboration to foster a competitive, technologically advanced economy that caters to the needs of all citizens.
“I am happy to know that the United Kingdom is ready to work with us in Nigeria and Africa. The United Kingdom must do more for the continent. We have not developed a competitive economy,” said the President.
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The discussion also focused on the pressing issue of energy transition and the potential for economic growth in Africa, especially Nigeria. President Tinubu highlighted the importance of the West, particularly the UK, in mobilizing investments for transporting gas from Nigeria to Europe. He regarded this as a crucial imperative for the UK and emphasized the mutual benefits it would bring to both Nigeria and Europe.
“The Western economic program should be able to help Nigeria pipe our gas to Europe since gas is acceptable as alternative clean energy. You must help us with the finance and facilitate the investment we require,” President Tinubu asserted.
Regarding democracy, peace, and stability in West Africa, President Tinubu underscored that security challenges persist as long as there are unstable governments in the sub-region. He used the opportunity to express concern about the situation in Niger, the Sahel region, and the Horn of Africa, where terrorists find refuge, and urged the UK government to support Nigeria in securing West Africa.
“We need a dynamic partnership on security and economic development because we don’t want terrorists to make Africa and our sub-region their nest,” President Tinubu conveyed to the UK Foreign Secretary.
In response, Rt Hon. Cleverly congratulated President Tinubu on his election victory and lauded the decisive actions he has taken to reform Nigeria’s economy. He commended the President for bold decisions, such as fuel subsidy removal and managing multiple foreign exchange markets, which he believes will ultimately lead to economic prosperity despite initial challenges.
“I want to commend you for the decisions you have taken to reform your economy. Your economic reforms are bold and the actions taken have been decisive. Despite the initial pains, these decisions will lead to economic prosperity for Nigerians,” said Cleverly.
Cleverly also shared his engagement with entrepreneurs, technologists, and young individuals in the creative sector during his visit to Lagos. He reassured President Tinubu that the UK remains a strategic, long-term partner of Nigeria and Africa and expressed eagerness to encourage more UK investments in Nigeria, considering the nation’s young, educated, and resourceful population.
“Nigeria has a population of very young, educated, and thoughtful people. With their energy and talents along with your resources, Nigeria can be a net exporter of energy and agricultural products. The UK will remain a strategic long-term and multi-decades partner of Nigeria and Africa,” Cleverly emphasized.
Additionally, Cleverly expressed the UK government’s support for the decisions made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and lauded President Tinubu’s leadership in promoting democracy and stability in the Republic of Niger and the African continent.
“For us, our national interest is to see a peaceful and prosperous African continent because peace and security go hand in hand,” Cleverly reaffirmed.