United Kingdom investors have signed commercial deals worth £324m (over N153.4bn) with Nigerian investors.
The deals were sealed during the inaugural UK-Africa Investment summit which was attended by 21 African countries, African leaders, UK and African businesses, international institutions and young entrepreneurs in London.
At the summit, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, expressed commitment to building long-term, sustainable relationships in Africa underpinned by the UK’s values and high standards.
A statement on Tuesday from the Press & Public Affairs Officer, British Deputy High Commission, Lagos, Ndidiamaka Eze, said the summit was designed to create lasting new partnerships that would deliver more investment, jobs and growth, benefiting people and businesses across Nigeria and the UK.
It stated that the summit had a strong focus on sustainable energy and on female participation in the economy.
Nigeria and the UK would be partners in a range of initiatives announced during the summit, it added.
The statement said these included, “Commercial deals worth £324m (over N153.4bn) and new UK government assistance to grow the UK-Nigeria trade and investment partnership.
“Significant UK commitments to support Nigeria, develop an enabling environment to turbo-charge economic growth, including helping address land issues for investment; strengthening and improving the finance sector.
“Helping entrepreneurs secure access to finance; preparing the ground for the launch in the UK of naira-denominated bonds – “Jollof Bonds”; and developing the tech sector.
“Substantial initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transformation in Nigeria, through enhanced technical and financial support..
“Strong commitments to harness private sector support for social development, particularly supporting women and young people in business.”
British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, who attended the summit, said, “Nigeria was out in force at the inaugural UK-Africa Investment summit.
“The Nigerian President led the delegation and Nigerian businesses were well represented, ranging from world renowned figures, such as Tony Elumelu, through to female entrepreneurs running start-ups.
“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 all its people.”
The Head of the Department for International Development in Nigeria, Chris Pycroft, who also attended the summit said, “The private sector has a critical role to play in supporting Nigeria’s economic growth and in creating the jobs that Nigeria’s young and growing population need.
“The 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 tech.
“I am delighted we are able to use our aid programme in Nigeria to support this agenda – from small steps like helping the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission produce an investment guide through to the serious investment we are making in strengthening Nigeria’s agriculture and finance sectors.
“As well as stimulating the economy and creating 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 on to extending access to banking and loans to the poorest consumers and female entrepreneurs.”