This Day (Lagos)

4 August 2014

Nigeria: New Investment Drive - UK, Nigeria to Explore Diaspora Groups

The United kingdom and Nigeria are set to explore the potential of Nigerians in the UK to key into investment initiative in Nigeria

This was the highlight of the discussion when the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Mr. David Heath, visited the Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom, in Abuja to develop a closer relationship between both countries beyond oil and gas

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Heath said: "We have a pool of successful Nigerians living in the UK with good business skills and the resources that can be redirected at good business initiative that would benefit both countries just like the Indians have done with their Diasporas

"We have specialist skills and technology that can add value to Nigeria. skills training is one area where we are very strong and if it is appropriate to your needs, we have organisations who will be willing to offer their expertise.

"The volume of trade between Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) is currently about £7.2 billion (N1.8trillion), could hit eight billion pounds this year (2014) with the balance of trade still in favour of Britain."

The meeting also agreed to step up arrangement for a regular business forum between both countries which will create the enabling environment for private sector players to interact and develop business ideas

Ortom, in his response said: "We have the instruction of our president to see what can be done to further this relationship. We already have the diaspora funds and a couple of meetings had been held. We will need the UK training assistance in processing and packaging as well as metrology for our small and medium scale enterprises, largely because our products have had difficulties accessing foreign market due to poor packaging and processing "

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