The United Kingdom (UK) Africa Trade Commissioner, Emma Wade-Smith, will today, Friday, February 23, visit Nigeria as part of a wider tour programme to the West African region, focusing on trade and investment.
Her visit follows a number of senior British ministers across Africa, including Foreign Secretary of State, Boris Johnson, who was in Nigeria last August with the then development secretary; Sir Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Trade, visiting South Africa, Mozambique, Uganda and Ethiopia; Harriet Baldwin, the new Minister for Africa who recently concluded a trip to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Cameroun and Côte d’Ivoire; in addition numerous prime minister’s trade envoys.
Speaking on her visit to West Africa and Nigeria in particular, Emma Wade-Smith, said Nigeria and the UK have a long and solid business relationship.
“As our economies evolve, so too does our commercial partnership. Nigeria is a country of immeasurable prospects. I want to help more British business people understand the scale and range of opportunities that there are in Nigeria, to build relationships well beyond this vibrant and exciting city’’.
“I’m excited to see the level of political will to do something positive and lasting in Africa, there hasn’t been such a high level of engagement in recent times.
“It’s vital when Africa is developing so quickly, and the UK is taking a different historic path, that we work together to realise the potential of this great continent, taking our relationship firmly beyond aid because the future really is all about trade”, he added.
He specifically said: “There is a perceptions issue, but we are challenging that. It is clear there is more stability, good governance and transparency in West Africa in particular than in the recent past, there are already a good number of British businesses doing well here and adding value to the markets they are present in, but so much more could be done for mutual benefit given the scale of the opportunities on offer.