Investors from the United Kingdom (UK) and the federal government of Nigeria, have signed commercial deals worth a total sum of £324 million (over N153.4 billion)
The British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, on Tuesday in a statement to the newsmen stated that the UK-Africa Investment Summit has launched a new partnership for growth in Nigeria.
The British Commissioner said that not less than 21 African countries met in London on Monday for the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, which included African leaders, UK and African businesses, international institutions and young entrepreneurs.
President Muhammadu Buhari led the Nigerian delegation and held private meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.
The Summit was designed to create lasting new partnerships that deliver more investment, jobs and growth, benefiting people and businesses across Nigeria and the UK.
Ms Laing said the summit has a strong focus on sustainable energy and female participation in the economy.
She said Nigeria and UK would-be partners on a range of initiatives.
Ms Laing said the initiatives include the significant UK commitments to support Nigeria to develop an enabling environment to turbo-charge economic growth, by helping to address land issues for investment.
“We will also be strengthening and improving the finance sector by helping entrepreneurs to secure access to finance.
“Also, we will be preparing the ground for the launch in the UK of naira-denominated bonds– “Jollof Bonds’’ and developing the technology sector,’’ she said.
Ms Laing also noted that there would be substantial initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transformation in Nigeria, through enhanced technical and financial support.
The British High Commissioner added that strong commitments to harness private sector support for social development, particularly supporting women and young people in business would be formed.
“Nigeria has already secured billions of naira worth of deals from the Summit.
“With the launch of an exciting range of initiatives to help investors identify opportunities in Nigeria, I am confident much more will follow.
“I am proud the summit had a strong focus on supporting female participation in the economy.
“In Africa, women are more likely to become entrepreneurs than men and, with a fast-growing population, Nigeria needs to harness the dynamism of its women to ensure prosperity for its entire people,’’ she said.
Also, the Head, Department for International Development in Nigeria, Chris Pycroft said the private sector has a critical role to play in supporting Nigeria’s economic growth.
Mr Pycroft said UK-Africa Investment Summit was an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to show off the wealth of opportunities it offers businesses, from agriculture to mining to technology.
“I am delighted we are able to use our aid programme in Nigeria to support this agenda from small steps like helping Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission to produce an investment guide,” he said.
Mr Pycroft said the guide was produced to strengthen Nigeria’s agriculture and finance sector as well as to stimulate the economy and create the jobs needed to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“This package of partnerships will deliver a range of wider social benefits, from improving energy access to extending access to banking and loans to the poorest consumers,’’ Mr Pycroft said.