LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a press conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room on February 3, 2022 in London, England. As the energy regulator, OFGEM, announced a domestic energy price cap rise of 54 percent earlier today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Energy Bill Rebate to help ease the cost of living burden. Council tax rebates of £150 for 80% of households and £200 off energy bills in October form £9.1 billion treasury package of support. (Photo by Justin Tallis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak says relations between his country and Nigeria would be strengthened under the able leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Sunak said in a letter to Nigeria’s President in waiting, Bola Tinubu, that he looked forward to the improvement of bilateral ties between both countries.
The letter which comes weeks before the inauguration of the President suggests the British have endorsed Tinubu as the winner of the nation’s presidential elections which took place last February.
Saying he was expectant that Bola Tinubu would attend the second African Investment Summit in London next year, the Prime Minister noted that the forum which will take place in April, 2024 would provide an avenue for open and frank talks that would be mutually beneficial to both Commonwealth countries.
According to him, the summit would be key in strengthening partnerships between the UK and Nigeria “in order to create jobs and growth, increase bilateral trade and investment, and support your aim of boosting Nigeria’s export competitiveness”.
“Together, we can expand our partnership further”, Sunak stated, “by strengthening our trade and investment relationship for the mutual prosperity of both our countries.”
Sunak spoke glowingly about the deep bond between the two nations and the shared heritage arising from links created between the people in areas such as education, the arts and sports inspired by the Commonwealth of Nations.
“We can take pride in its values of democracy, good governance and cooperation. Through this forum, we will continue working in partnership to tackle global challenges like climate change, with its unique impact on Nigeria and your wider region.
“I believe our shared leadership on this can play a vital role”, the Prime Minister further disclosed.
He assured the incoming Tinubu administration of the UK’s support in addressing security challenges facing Nigeria through the sharing of expertise and necessary tools.
Describing the UK as Nigeria’s long standing partner, he said his country will support Tinubu’s initiatives in building peace, strengthening national unity and promoting prosperity in Nigeria.
Apparently, the UK’s interest in working with Tinubu who ran the presidential race on the platform of the APC took root late last year.
“The UK Government welcomed the opportunity to hear your priorities when you met the Minister of State for Development and Africa last year.
“I am proud of our work supporting access to education and healthcare, improving governance, and helping meet the humanitarian needs of those affected by conflict,” the Prime Minister said in his letter.
Part of the letter read, “I also hope to continue our work in addressing the security challenges facing Nigeria and the wider region.
“Such challenges are not limited by borders; it is vital that we share expertise and tools to combat them. The National Security Adviser looks forward to further dialogue with your National Security Adviser later this year.”
The United Kingdom thus joins the growing list of leading nations that have fully thrown their weight behind the outcome of the elections despite attempts at home by eventual losers and their supporters to discredit the process.
In a couple of weeks, precisely on May 29, Muhammadu Buhari, outgoing President of Nigeria will hand over the reins of power to Tinubu.
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