The new United Kingdom Secretary of State, Department for International Development, Alok Sharman, says that the British government has already organized an African investment summit which will hold in London next year.
He said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufa’I, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, North-West Nigeria.
The British State Secretary said, the British government plans to expand the existing area of partnership to include economic development with the entire African countries.
According to him, his visit was to afford him the opportunity to oversee the visible support rendered by UK government to Nigeria, especially in Kaduna, with the view to improving on it.
He pledged the British Government’s continuous partnership with Kaduna state government in the areas of education, health and human development.
The Secretary of State said at least 360,000 Nigeria children, including girls of school age have been assisted by the United Kingdom Aid, since 2015 to get quality education which will in turn give them access to job to help boost Nigeria’s economy.
According to Mr. Sharma, Kaduna was his first oversea trip since his appointment as UK’s fifth Secretary of State for International Development by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, considering Nigeria being one of its key bilateral development partners.
On his part, Governor Malam El-Rufa’i expressed gratitude for the support of the British government to Kaduna state, adding that, government is working on modalities to bring more investments, especially from the United Kingdom.
While thanking him for choosing Kaduna State as his first official destination, Governor El-Rufai said the UK government has supported the state in the areas of education, teacher-development program, equipped 34 primary health care centres with solar power and business apprenticeship program.
He, however, hoped that the UK will grant the state more support to expand its internally generated revenue and have more experts embedded in the Ministries so as to improve the state’s capacity to deliver services.
Amaka E. Nliam