Nigeria and other African countries huge trade potentials will be harnessed through the United Kingdom Government inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit set to hold in London.
Speaking in Lagos at the pre-summit media briefing, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, stated that the Summit will bring together British and African businesses to harness the huge potential of the continent when it comes to trade – including through infrastructure, agriculture, enterprise and technology.
According to her, it will create new lasting partnerships to deliver more investment, jobs and growth to benefit people and businesses across Africa and the UK.
She noted that the Summit will be hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, adding that it is would be a great opportunity to highlight and discuss trade and investment relations for both the UK and Nigeria.
“Nigeria will play a critical role in the success of the Summit. President Buhari is set to head the Nigerian delegation and will receive special treatment, befitting his status as President of Africa’s most populous country and biggest economy.
“At the Summit, the Nigerian delegation will have the chance to engage investors on business environment issues and to emphasise Nigeria’s commitment to continuing to improve conditions for doing business, as recognised in its steady climb up the World Bank’s Doing Business index from 146th to 131st in last October’s report”, she said.
She noted that the British Prime Minister will meet with President Buhari, who will also attend a reception hosted by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“The UK-Africa Investment Summit is a major opportunity to support growth, development and job creation in Nigeria, including HE President Buhari’s commitment to expanding agriculture and manufacturing.”
“Nigeria will be highly visible: the only country to participate in every AIS event, and Nigeria’s companies will be out in force: one in seven of the African companies attending will be Nigerian. Every session of the Summit will feature Nigerian participants. We want them to come back with new partnerships that will boost investment and create jobs and sustainable economic growth in Nigeria
“This is a prime opportunity for Nigeria to make its pitch to quality British companies and investors, demonstrating not only the scale and breadth of commercial opportunities here in Nigeria but also Government’s commitment to improving the business environment. Global competition for investment is fierce. Nigeria will need to compete for its share, addressing those areas that businesses still find a challenge, such as customs and tax procedures.
“The UK Government stands ready to assist, and to bring our companies here to be part of the growth story we want to see. That’s ultimately the goal of the Summit: to attract investors for the mutual benefit of Nigeria and the UK.”
Also, the Head of Department for International Development in Nigeria, Chris Pycroft states, “This is the time for Nigeria – All eyes are on the Summit. Bringing together British and African businesses, governments, entrepreneurs and innovators is a massive step in unlocking Africa’s potential. We can create new lasting partnerships that will deliver more investment, more jobs and more growth – that’s good for people and businesses – and good for Nigeria”
On her part, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC )
“The UK is a country of strategic investments and we consider the relationship of utmost importance, and our delegation to the UK-Africa Investment Summit reflects that much. The summit will be an opportunity for UK businesses to get a sense of the opportunities in the Nigerian market.
The Nigerian Investment Guide will give investors the feel of what matters in setting up a business in Nigeria. We hope this will encourage even more British businesses to invest here – creating jobs for Nigerians and supporting both our economies”