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UK businesses doing very well in Nigeria, says deputy high commissioner



Harriet Thompson, British deputy high commissioner in Lagos, says the United Kingdom is ready to offer assistance to Nigeria to boost investment opportunities in the country. 

Thompson spoke at UK-Africa investment summit pre-event media briefing on Monday, in Lagos.

She said part of the objectives of the summit, which will hold on January 20 in the UK, is to push investments in Nigeria and help create the economic growth the country needs as well as job opportunities.

She acknowledged that UK businesses are doing very well in the country and said the summit offers Nigeria a great opportunity to tell its audience what it is all about; its strength and investment opportunities that abound in the country.

“The UK-Africa Investment Summit is a major opportunity to support growth, development and job creation in Nigeria, including President Buhari’s commitment to expanding agriculture and manufacturing,” Thompson said.

“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.

“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.”

Chris Pycroft, head of Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria, said there is a critical role to be played by the private sector in the development of a nation.

“The private sector development is absolutely critical to poverty reduction. There is a critical role to be played by the private sector and this is what is being acknowledged by the UK-Africa summit,” Pycroft said.

“This is the time for Nigeria. 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 is good for people and businesses and good for Nigeria”

Also speaking, Yewande Sadiku, executive secretary/CEO of  Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), said the new Nigeria Investment guide, which will be launched at the summit, will give investors an idea of how the Nigerian market works.

“The summit will be an opportunity for UK businesses to get a sense of the opportunities in the Nigerian market,” she said.

“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.”

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