By Vera Anyagafu
The United Kingdom Department for International Trade, in collaboration with the City of London, have highlighted opportunities in some of the many viable projects in the West African nation across the Agriculture, Energy, Healthcare, Infrastructure and ICT sectors, while hosting over 100 Nigerian businesses and potential UK investors at an investment showcase in London,
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The business meeting which was held at the country’s historic Guildhall, outlined progressive investment prospects in the Nigerian market today to UK investors, and brought together leading figures in the public and private sectors, investment funds and financial institutions as the UK pursues its ambition of being the largest G7 investor in Africa by 2022.
In his opening remarks, the former Lord Mayor of the City of London, Sir Charles Bowman, noted that the UK is already a significant direct investor in Nigeria and a strong relationship already existed with the country and the City of London. Sir Charles Bowman said:
“Nigeria is the second largest destination of UK investment in Africa, with £5.1bn of investment stock, and one-fifth of FTSE 100 companies having some form of presence in Nigeria. In addition, total trade in goods and services between the UK and Nigeria in 2018/19 was £5.1bn, an increase of 19.3% from the previous year, which illustrates the size and strength of trade and investment relationship between our two countries.”
Also speaking, the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo said, “In order to realise our national economic objectives, the Nigerian government has begun implementing new initiatives to aggressively improve the ease of doing business and is supporting investors through wholesale reforms, tailored investor incentives, bilateral investment agreement and a pipeline of continuous opportunities.”
Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet Thompson, facilitated as Seso Global, Farmcrowdy, Nordica Fertility Centre, jetWest Airways, Channeldrill resources Ltd and Century Energy Services and other Nigerian businesses presented their projects to investors from Credit Suisse, Infraco Africa, Standard Chartered, Black Rock, CDC, JP Morgan, Helios Investments and Wood group among others.
Similarly, the DIT’s Director General for Exports, John Mahon, Executive Secretary/CEO, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission, Yewande Sadiku, and MD/CEO of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji, also gave keynote addresses at the meeting.
However, the showcase, which comes ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20thJanuary 2020 in London, supports the UK’s clear vision of working together with African countries and forging new investments that will create jobs, and boost mutual prosperity through strong and enduring partnerships.