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The UK has established a partnership with Nigeria aimed at enhancing trade and investment, thereby opening new avenues for businesses in both nations.

The newly formed Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP), marking the UK’s inaugural agreement of this kind with an African nation, seeks to expand the flourishing trade ties between the UK and Nigeria, which amounted to £7 billion up to September 2023.

This collaboration is set to benefit various key sectors in both economies, including financial and legal services.

A significant aspect of this partnership is the mutual goal of allowing legal professionals from both countries to practice foreign and international law within each other’s jurisdictions, which is expected to boost the legal services sector and its exports. Additionally, the agreement aims to foster cooperation in the film and media sectors and to encourage top-tier UK educational institutions to provide high-quality education in Nigeria.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and one of the globe’s rapidly expanding economies, is projected to be among the top 20 economies by 2035 and is expected to see its population surge to over 370 million by 2050, according to the UN.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said, “This partnership with Nigeria – the UK’s first with an African country – will allow us to work together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”

She added, “Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. UK businesses have already seen huge success here and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow this relationship.”

The ETIP was officially signed by Kemi Badenoch and Nigerian Trade Minister Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite in Abuja on Tuesday, 13 February.

During her visit to Nigeria, Badenoch will also explore the site of the new Charterhouse school, the first of its kind from the UK in West Africa, and engage with key Nigerian financial leaders to address trade barriers for UK companies.

Nigerian Trade Minister Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, noting, “The UK is one of our long-standing strategic partners with whom we share strong ties, and it gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.”

Nicola Watkinson, TheCityUK International Managing Director, also welcomed the ETIP, highlighting Nigeria’s significance as a growth market for UK-based financial and professional services.

Additionally, a significant energy deal will be observed by the Business and Trade Secretary, involving UK’s Konexa and Nigeria’s North South Power (NSP), aimed at supplying Nigerian Breweries PLC with 100% renewable energy and fostering sustainable development.

Konexa CEO Pradeep Pursnani remarked on the importance of this agreement for sustainable energy solutions.

The partnership has already facilitated significant advancements in trade, particularly in the education and financial sectors, creating a more conducive environment for UK businesses in Nigeria. This includes a resolution in Transnational Education investment and a streamlined foreign exchange process for easier trade between the two nations.