By MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
Mayor of Brent, London, Micheal Adeyeye, has disclosed that the population of Nigerian immigrants in London has hit over 1 million people.
Meantime, Governor Babtunde Fashola of Lagos and Mayor of London, Mr. Alderman Gifford stressed the need to strengthen bilateral ties between Lagos and London.
The duo who spoke during a courtesy visit by the Mayor at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, said that the population of Nigerian and United Kingdom immigrants in both cities have showed that the bilateral ties between both countries was age-long.
Speaking in an interview with Saturday Vanguard, Adeyeye, one of the three councillors in London, said that “Lagos is like London because it is full of people with diverse ethnic background.
“That is why we all need to work together so that we can all gain effectively from each another. We have a large community of Nigerians in London, and the population of Nigerians living in the city is over 1 million. This was what we got from the high commission.”
He noted that “this was the reason why there was need to foster business relation between the two nations particularly Lagos and London. And all our efforts would be geared towards ensuring that the partnership grows from strength to strength.”
He expressed joy over the ties, saying “I am happy that this is happening between Nigeria and UK. We all know that there is an age long relation between the two countries.”
Fashola, in his speech said that London and Lagos have made tremendous progress in various sectors of their economy, saying,“I believe that with this, we can learn from each other’s success.”
The governor said; “Today, Lagos is now dealing with challenges of becoming a global city state in the sense that there are several opportunities in the state. And it has become an attractive destination for the world.
“And as we move towards improving our economy in Lagos, there is need for us to strengthened our bilateral ties especially with United Kingdom,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Gifford said “London is a very great city but we realised that London must strengthen its relation with other countries especially Nigeria because there are many Nigerians living in the city. “And this could be further explained by the five commercial banks out of the 250 commercial banks in the city owned by Nigerians,” he said.
According to him, “We have a lot to explore but we believe that to achieve this, it must be done by allowing equal partnership. We believe that the economy that would grow in the next 50 years will be coming from an economy that has great base with a better financial market. If we are going to survive, we must work with these economies. And Lagos is among these economies that have been identified.”