British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, on Wednesday held talks with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Montgomery, who fielded questions from State House correspondents afterwards praised the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on some economic measures announced so far.
The envoy particularly commended the government on subsidy removal and exchange rate reform.
These measures, he said, would improve the business environment.
He said his discussion with Shetima covered issues ranging from trade, security and defence to economic relations.
“We discussed our long-standing partnership between the UK and Nigeria; we have many areas of shared interest.
“These include a good history of development cooperation, excellent trade and investment arrangements.
“And we also had some good cooperation on security and defence.
“We also had good talks on home affairs and justice, education and health.
“I think we already have a good economic dialogue, but there is a great potential to do more,” Montgomery said.
The envoy told newsmen that he was in London recently and had talks with ministers and British businesses in the finance, banking and investment sectors.
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He said they all responded very positively to the first decisions taken by the new government in Nigeria.
“We know that there are tough times going on at the moment, inflation and unemployment.
“ The vice president and I also touched on some of the measures that might be possible to cushion the blow of some of these economic pressures.
“But I think the big issue is that these reforms help put Nigeria on a higher growth path; they will attract more investments and the UK and the city of London see Nigeria as a big opportunity going forward.
“I will be doing my part to try to boost those, enhance trade and investment.’’
On the recent UK policy on students’ visas, Montgomery said the issue was not part of his discussion with the Vice President.
He said that in 2022, the UK granted three million new visas out of which 325,000 were between Nigeria and the UK.
“So, Nigerian visitors constitute over 10 per cent of the people coming to London and the UK.
“On the issue of students’ visas, I will also like to say that the number of Nigerian students coming to the UK has increased five-fold in the last three years.
“It is a fantastic success story for our universities and we are really delighted that so many Nigerians are coming to the UK.”
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