Nigeria, UK sign pacts on defence, economic development

Nigeria, UK sign pacts on defence, economic development
August 29 17:35 2018

By Ahmed Idris

Nigeria and the United Kingdom on Wednesday signed two agreements – Defence and Security Partnership and Economic Development Forum.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the visit of the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Theresa May, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said the agreements highlight the two priority areas in the relationship between the two countries.

“Under the Defence and Security Pact, it is a comprehensive agreement that covers all aspects of security challenges. So apart from the military training there is also the support for policing, civil policing, human rights aspect of security and the close cooperation that the two countries will have, the training that will be provided by the UK to our security forces.

“On the economic development forum, this is a forum that really aims at co-prosperity. The prosperity of our two countries are sloping to leverage in areas where we have as countries comparative advantages, the financial center that London is and the investment opportunities in our country and ready to build that up with the private sector as well as the government level.

“So everything will be comprehensive and involve different stakeholders and this is in the context of UK’s BREXIT. Coming out of the European union, they feel freer now to engage with countries on bilateral level and build up trade relations with those countries. For us, this also fit into our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan where Mr. President has put forward a roadmap that is really transforming this country,” he said.

On respect for human rights and rule of law, the minister said a number of steps have been taken for implementation of global best practices in the country.

“We have taken a number of steps in the area of human rights. Mr. President has set up a committee that looks into the various allegations made against our military and the process is ongoing and we are very keen to have as a government a mechanism within the security apparatus of this country that ensures that the correct procedures and methods are implored by the military,” he said.