By Shola Agbaje, Abuja
As the Buhari administration continues its drive to promote private sector partnership, it remains ready to provide the necessary assistance to private investors looking to invest in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured.
Osinbajo stated this when a delegation of UK Ministers led by British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa on Thursday.
Also at the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
The Vice President said the relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom was very important, assuring that “the next few years are certainly going to be more interesting”.
He mentioned that Nigeria has huge potential and according to him, “investors would salivate if the potential was realised” and the country is “close to the tipping point in terms of making that happen”.
He added that in terms of trade, Nigeria had no choice but to diversify from oil and now more attention is focused on agriculture, agro-processing and more interest in technology.
According to the Vice President, “UK are our natural partners and it is much easier for business because of the relationship over time and because of the robust presence of the UK here in Nigeria through the DFID which has been tremendously supportive’’.
In the area of housing, Osinbajo stated that Nigeria would be looking to partner the United Kingdom, adding that government was interested in construction companies with the expertise and technical know-how to deliver mass housing projects across the country.
He also emphasized the role of the private sector as well as the role of government in creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.
He assured investors that the Federal Government was prepared to partner them, provide assistance where necessary and solve the problems as they emerge.
In his own remarks, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Boris Johnson, who observed that “Nigeria has an amazing future”, stated that the United Kingdom was partnering Nigeria in different areas including intelligence sharing in the fight against terrorism.
Johnson added that the UK was also working to build an economic partnership with Nigeria given the country’s status as the powerhouse of Africa and the biggest economy on the continent.
Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development, Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria and other top officials were on the visit to the Presidential Villa.