The UK Government praised the positive economic changes witnessed during Bola Tinubu's time, highlighting their potential to attract investments, despite labor groups' calls for nationwide protests in Nigeria. This insight was shared by James Cleverly, the British Foreign Secretary, during a business briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday.
Discussing Economic Measures and Subsidies
Cleverly emphasized that while innovative national-level macroeconomic measures have their limitations, discontinuing fuel subsidies and standardizing exchange rates could stimulate investments and strengthen growth. He highlighted the importance of capital to encourage investment, progress, and job creation across African nations.
He also pointed out the potential benefits that could arise from implementing suggestions outlined in the G20's independent capital adequacy framework, which might lead to substantial development financing. In his words;
“It is imperative that the international financial institutions accommodate shared aspirations for a bigger, more responsive and fairer system. The public sector alone cannot provide all the investments needed. Private capital is essential.”
The Role Taken on by the UK
James Cleverly stressed the UK's role in promoting investments from the private sector in Nigeria and across the broader continent. He emphasized the far-reaching impact of adopting G20 recommendations on capital adequacy, which could potentially unlock significant development financing. Cleverly acknowledged that achieving multilateral reform required collaboration and partnerships, resulting in advantages not only for African countries and the UK but also for the global community. He affirmed that fostering a sustainable international order was a shared interest with the potential to drive future prosperity.
Growth, Trade, and Collaborative Initiatives
Cleverly projected that growth would yield tangible benefits such as increased job opportunities and crucial enhancements to infrastructure for the Nigerian people. He highlighted the pivotal role of international trade in accelerating growth and prosperity.
Cleverly elaborated on the UK's upcoming trading scheme for developing nations, which aims to offer tariff reductions for a wide range of products, facilitating integration into global supply chains.
Here’s what he said;
“This means that 98% of goods imported from Africa into the UK will enter duty-free and new rules of origin will help the least developed economies integrate into global supply chains. “
“Increased trade stimulates partnerships and our collective power today, the power of African countries and the UK together is founded on the quality and the number of our partnerships.”
“That is why in April 2024, we will be co-hosting the UK-Africa investment summit in London. This will be a milestone event and a firm sign that we are stepping up our engagement and partnership with African countries”
He unveiled plans for the highly anticipated UK-Africa investment summit scheduled for April 2024 in London, signifying a heightened commitment to establishing partnerships and deepening engagement with African countries.