President Jonathan calls for stronger Nigeria-UK ties
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Wednesday in Abuja called for the maintenance and further strengthening of the historical relations between Nigeria and Britain for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Speaking at a meeting with a British business delegation led by the Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear, President Jonathan said that both countries must make greater efforts to continually renew their longstanding relationship and make it more functional.
Welcoming the Mayor who said that he had come with a delegation of British investors and businessmen to follow up on bilateral agreements concluded during Prime Minister David Cameron's recent visit to enhance economic cooperation between Nigeria and Britain, President Jonathan said that the Prime Minister's visit had been “very significant and fruitful”.
The President invited British investors to support his Administration's efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy and create greater employment opportunities for its youthful population, saying that more sectors of the economy previously run exclusively by government were being opened up for private sector participation.
“A high population of unemployed youth could be dangerous anywhere in the world. We are therefore working very hard to create more jobs by expanding our economic base through increased investment in infrastructure, manufacturing and commercial large-scale agriculture,” President Jonathan told Mr. Bear and his delegation.
The Mayor told the President that he was in Nigeria with his delegation to pursue the realization of the agreements reached during Mr. Cameron's visit to double bilateral trade between Nigeria and Britain in the shortest possible time.
“We are here to move things forward. We have confidence in your reform programme and are willing to help you in any way that we can,” he told President Jonathan.