UK commits to stronger bilateral relations with Nigeria – Envoy

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By Sarafina Christopher

Britain has reiterated its commitment to strengthening and advancing bilateral relations with Nigeria in the areas of health, education, and security.

British High Commissioner to Nigeria Dr Richard Montgomery said this at his residence in Abuja during the celebration of the 75th Birthday of King Charles III of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

According to Montgomery, Nigeria and the UK have exceptionally strong people-to-people links with a huge Nigerian diaspora population in the UK just as there’s a very big UK diaspora population in Nigeria with mutual interests in the creative arts, sports, and education.

“Nigeria really matters to the UK. We share history, We share interests in defense and security, trade and investment, and our justice and home affairs.

“We’ve worked together on development/cooperation, on health, education, livelihoods, and government effectiveness.

“We share our views and negotiate many foreign policy challenges and in many international organisations.

“And as shown by four ministerial visits during my first six months as high commissioner, we assure you that the UK stands ready to work in partnership with Nigeria, in all these areas of cooperation and more in the spirit of mutual respect.

“Our two countries also have exceptionally strong people-to-people links on education on the creative arts or sports and through the large UK and Nigeria industries in our country.

“So we’ve got a really strong relationship and it’s my job as British High Commissioner to build and strengthen it,” he said.

Montgomery also urged all Nigerian citizens to stay strong, especially with the pressures, particularly given the difficult global economy and inflation.

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“I know that people are hurting at the moment. Inflation is high, but I want to stress that we need to believe that the new administration is making some big bold, and necessary reforms.

“This is because if Nigeria successfully implements its reforms there will be a higher growth path and everything will be possible in terms of people’s livelihoods,

“In the revenues necessary for services across the country, I’m really optimistic that Nigeria has a great future ahead,” he said.

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who was at the ceremony congratulated the king on his 75th birthday.

Bayero said he was looking forward to much stronger relations between the two countries during his tenure.

“The king has been assisting a lot, especially in girl child education and climate change, thank you.

“We know the role has been played as an heir apparent to the throne and Now that he’s here, we believe we can get more out of that experience.

“And also how we have been talking to each other where we think they can come in and assist and I believe the relationship will always be reciprocal,” the emir noted.

His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III Olu of Warri wished the king long life and good health during his reign.

“We believe that in your time Nigeria and the UK will build further relationships on the solid foundation of transparency, equity in terms of education, and trade, among other mutually beneficial platforms,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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