Nigeria, UK sign agreements on security, economic development

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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Nigeria has signed two agreements with the United Kingdom, sequel to the visit to Abuja by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this to State House Correspondents after bilateral talks between President Muhammadu Buhari and the visiting UK Prime Minister.

The Minister said the agreements were on security and economic development.

The agreements were signed by the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd.) and the Minister of State-Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on behalf of Nigeria, while their British counterparts signed for the UK.

He said: “There are two agreements that were signed today. The first one was on a defence and security pact between our two countries’ respective national security advisers and the second one was an economic development forum that is been set up. This clearly highlights the two priority areas in our relationship at the moment.

“Under the defence and security pact, it’s a comprehensive agreement that covers all aspects of the security challenges. So apart from the military training, but also the support, the policing, civil policing and human rights aspects of security and the close cooperation that our two countries will have. The training that will be provided also by the UK to our security forces

“On the economic development forum, this is a forum that really aims at co-prosperity of our two countries. It’s looking to leverage areas where we have, as countries, competitive advantages: the financial centre that London is and the investment opportunities in our country to build that up with the private sector as well as at the government level. It will be comprehensive and will involve different stakeholders.”

Brexit

Commenting on the much talked about Brexit, the Minister said it now affords the UK an opportunity to go into more trade relations with more countries, a move he said fits perfectly into Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“This is in the context of UK’s Brexit, coming out of the European Union. They feel freer now to engage with countries on a bilateral level and build up trade relations with those countries. For us this also fit into our economic recovery and growth plan where Mr President has put forward a road map for transforming this country and so this partnership will be a framework that will achieve very much into our economic recovery and growth plan,” he said.

Nnenna.O