The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, has stated that the United Kingdom is eagerly anticipating the appointment of new ministers by the Tinubu Administration.
NAIJA LIVE TV reports that according to Montgomery, this will enable the UK government to take the necessary steps to strengthen collaboration with Nigeria.
Montgomery made these remarks during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Recall that he succeeded Catriona Laing as the head of the UK mission in Nigeria. Laing now serves as the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia.
The newly appointed British envoy emphasized the importance of establishing a more systematic dialogue between the two countries in order to strengthen relations and explore new areas of mutual benefit. Montgomery identified six specific areas where both nations could enhance cooperation.
Montgomery identified six areas in which both countries could strengthen cooperation.
“We have very long-standing ties being wired by history and we do have a very strong foundation on which to build and I am very optimistic about Nigeria’s direction in the coming years.
“We wish to build on our economic relations in particular and the first decisions by the new administration show that it is going to take big decisions on the economy which I think will give us the opportunity to grow our trade, investment, and economic relations.
“And I think there are a number of areas where the UK government can step up our diplomacy, our bilateral relations with Nigeria.
“But of course, we await the appointment of new ministers so that we can have the diplomatic dialogue necessary to lay the grounds for some of those.
“I will say that there are six areas we would like to explore. The first is long-standing development cooperation.
“And I think what the UK always needs to do when a new administration comes into place is, we need to understand the priorities of that administration and how we can adapt and work in mutual partnership and with our development programmes.
“The second is economic area. We already have a good economic dialogue but we would like to take the next step and develop a form of a more enhanced trade and partnership – something I am quite keen to discuss with the new minister of trade and industry.
“The third area is security and defence, which we would like to evolve and take forward.
“We already have a good relationship on home affairs, with your interior ministry and other agencies, and that is an area where we would like to continue our collaborations.
“Finally, we would like to have a more systematic dialogue on foreign policy.
“Nigeria has played a very valuable role in regional and continental issues and the UK would like to have a more systematic foreign policy dialogue with the government of Nigeria once the ministers and advisers are in place,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery expressed his optimism about the prospects of increased collaboration between the UK and Nigeria. He mentioned successful meetings with President Bola Tinubu, Vice President Kashim Shettima, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, and expressed his commitment to maintaining productive relationships with various agencies, such as the British Council, higher education bodies in the UK, diaspora business groups, and chambers of commerce.
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