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Nigeria, UK reaffirm bilateral cooperation as Theresa May ends visit
THE visit of the British Prime Minister Theresa May to Nigeria ended on a positive note with the signing of Memoranda of Understanding to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
May met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Wednesday as part of her tour of three African countries which included South Africa and Kenya.
“I’m delighted to be able to continue the very good discussions we had when you were in London in April,” May told Buhari.
“We already have very good cooperation between the UK and Nigeria, which include education, defence, security and trade relations. We are ready to cooperate together on global and regional issues; to strengthen that cooperation and partnership.
“I have with me a business delegation, as we look to enhance our ties in future and explore more trading opportunities. We will also be looking to work together to step up efforts against security threats from Boko Haram, human trafficking and the likes. And, of course, also cooperate to fight corruption and lifting people out of poverty.”
Earlier, President Buhari had thanked May for her country’s continued support to Nigeria, especially in terms of security and trade.
“I am very grateful to the British Government under your leadership for the help you are giving us in the area of security. The training team that goes to our institutions in Kaduna and observe the operations in the North-East mainly, we thank you very much for that,” Buhari said.
“I also thank you very much for the improvement in trade relationship between us since you assumed office. We are nervously watching developments about Brexit because we know that relationship has been on since 1938 and people are here looking at the opportunities in education, businesses, and so on.
“Let me assure you that we will take the necessary steps to improve on the trade relationship between our two countries.”
One of the documents signed during the short visit was a bilateral agreement on defence and security partnership, which was signed by the Nigerian National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and British Deputy National Security Adviser, Christian Turner.
The other was a bilateral agreement on trade development, which was signed by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; and British Minister of State for Trade Policy, George Hollingbery, on behalf of the two countries.
May subsequently departed for Lagos from where she would fly out to Kenya.