Tinubu Advocates for Stronger Economic and Defense Cooperation with UK

Abuja Network News - 
2 August, 2023

 In a bid to secure a stronger partnership with Nigeria and Africa, President Bola Tinubu has called on the United Kingdom to invest more across various sectors to ensure sustainable and broad-based prosperity for the continent. This appeal was made during a meeting with Rt Hon. James Cleverly MP, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

President Tinubu emphasized the deep historical ties and symbiotic economic relationship between Africa and the UK, urging the UK government to work alongside Nigeria and other African nations to create a competitive and technologically advanced economy that caters to the needs of its 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," stated President Tinubu.

Energy transition and its potential for economic growth in Africa were also discussed during the meeting. President Tinubu urged the Foreign Secretary to mobilize investment to enable the piping of gas from Nigeria to 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 requested.

Addressing the issue of security in West Africa, President Tinubu emphasized that unstable governments in the sub-region pose a threat to democracy, peace, and stability. While expressing concerns regarding the presence of terrorists in Niger, the Sahel region, and the Horn of Africa, President Tinubu appealed to the UK government for support 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 urged.

Rt Hon. Cleverly, in his remarks, congratulated President Tinubu on his election victory and commended the steps taken to reform the Nigerian economy. He praised President Tinubu for his bold decisions on fuel subsidy removal and multiple foreign exchange markets, acknowledging that these actions will ultimately bring about development in the country. The Foreign Secretary assured President Tinubu of the UK's commitment as a long-term strategic partner of Nigeria and Africa.

"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 Rt Hon. Cleverly.

Furthermore, Rt Hon. Cleverly expressed his keen interest in promoting bilateral and economic partnerships with Nigeria, highlighting the potential of Nigeria's young and educated population to become net exporters of energy and agricultural products. He also pledged the UK's support for President Tinubu's efforts in promoting democracy and stability in the Republic of Niger, aligning it with their national interest in a peaceful and prosperous African continent.

President Tinubu and Rt Hon. Cleverly concluded the meeting by affirming their commitment to stronger economic and defense cooperation between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

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