Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo has expressed the readiness of Nigeria to partner with United Kingdom companies towards exploring the abundant business opportunities that exist in the country The Vice President made this remark when he received the United Kingdom delegation of Permanent Secretaries led by Simon Fraser Permanent Secretary of Foreign & Commonwealth office, Tom Mckane Defence and Mark Lawcock of the Department of International Development (DFID), in his office at the State House Abuja.
Arc Sambo, who expressed delight with the new partnership approach between Nigeria and United Kingdom lamented however that the UK had left a lot of gap which other countries have exploited in entrenching themselves in the country. He was confident however that with this new initiative, it would bridge the gap that hitherto existed.
The Vice President recalled the meeting between President Jonathan and the Prime Minister of Great Britain in Lagos July which resulted in the signing of communiqué that is now yielding the desired result. He commended the actions of the United Kingdom that has resulted in the increase in trade between the two countries of up to 35%. He used the occasion to update the delegation of the giant strides of government in the areas of power and alternative sources of power supply, agriculture, transportation and other infrastructural development efforts.
Earlier the leader of the delegation Simon Fraser, the Permanent Secretary Foreign and Commonwealth office said that they had fruitful discussions with the Economic Community and the Lagos State Government which centered on the economy, security and development. He said the essence was to follow up on the signed communiqué by the two countries which is aimed at completely strengthening their mutual relationship. He noted that trade has increased significantly between the two countries since the signing of the Communiqué to upward of 35%. He said that the United Kingdom desires to build a bilateral relationship as partners with Nigeria since both countries share strategic partnership challenges. He appreciated the strategic approach adopted for moving the relationship forward.
Others at the meeting include Giles Lever acting British High Commissioner, Richard Montgomery Head DFID Nigeria, Juliet John, Col James Hall, MBE, Defence and other top government officials.