By Akilani Abdullah,
Weeks after United Kingdom (UK) exit from the European Union (EU), the government has said Nigeria remains a major partner towards repositioning and boosting its economy in the post Brexit era.
It would be recalled that the United Kingdom, under leadership of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, successfully exited from EU, and entered a transition period which was set to be completed by December 30, during which the UK and EU are expected to negotiate their future relationship.
The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang, expressed the country’s desire when she paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, at the Government House, Kano, assuring that the nation was prepared to strengthen bilateral ties with member countries of the commonwealth.
According to her, Nigeria was important to UK’s relationships in Africa and as compensation, the country would focus on areas of governance, human development, and economic growth.
Liang added that there had been clear instructions from previous Prime minister during her visit to Nigeria a few years back, to deepen and strengthen relationships with Africa’s most populous country that brings mutual benefits to both countries.
“I think we are in a very good period at the moment because, with the new government, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, we are in a journey of re-establishing and strengthening relationship with traditional commonwealth partners in Africa particularly Nigeria,”
“Nigeria holds an important place in Africa. It is therefore natural that we put our money where we have our biggest mission,”
“Presently, we have over 500 people working for us in Nigeria: 300 in Abuja, 200 in Lagos and another 30 or so in places like Kano”.
On his part, Ganduje, called for more synergy between the state and UK government on education, saying, such partnership would have a great impact on human development in Kano.
“In the area of education, we came up with this policy, which we know is a heavy-loaded policy statement, which needs all hands on deck,”
“We all believe that with the right education, these issues of insecurity and joblessness would come to pass. We also understand that education is a right to each and every citizen. That is why we have a law in place that whoever fails to take his child or children to school is committing an offense,” he said.
Ganduje added that the issue of almajiri integration into conventional education system was another area in which, his government would appreciate aid from the United Kingdom.
He assured Liang of the full support of Kano state, under his leadership, and expressed optimism that future collaborations would yield great results for both parties.