Buhari to demand more UK investments in Nigeria, eyes part of £14bn aid budget
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari would at the maiden UK-Africa investment summit in London pitch for more UK investments in Nigeria as part of the new push by 10 Downing Street to make more investment impact in Africa.
Both the United States and the UK have raised eyebrow at the massive investments from China streaming into Africa and both have not hidden their intention to ramp up their respective investments on the continent regarded as the new frontier in investments and opportunities.
Britain has unveiled plans to channel part of the £14bn aid budget through the City as it seeks to exploit the global reach of the finance sector to boost investment in Africa.
The UK Guardian reports that a princely £395m package out of the £14bn was announced by the international development secretary, Alok Sharma, ahead of a high-level UK-Africa investment summit next Monday.
President Buhari, according to British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs. Catriona Laing, would be the only African President to feature in all session during the one-day summit. Mrs Laing succeeded Mr. Paul Arkwright last year November and she’s the very first female High Commissioner from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.
Mrs. Laing, who was the Ambassador to Zimbabwe since September 2014, was appointed in June but officially took up appointment in November.
The three separate aid budget initiatives are Britain’s response to the massive Chinese investment drive in Africa, which the government says has already left a large footprint on the continent. The cash will be spent on improving the financial systems and regulations of 45 African states; a new investment fund to identify and develop projects; and a joint initiative with the World Bank to nurture local currency bonds.
In a sign of the perceived importance of strengthening economic links with Africa after Brexit, the summit will be attended by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, Dominic Rabb, the business secretary, Andrea Leadsom, and Sharma, reports the Guardian.
Sharma said the aim was to help money from private investors such as pension funds flow into Africa by making it easier, quicker and more secure to invest.
“Africa’s substantial investment potential is clear, with many African countries outstripping global economic growth in recent decades. The UK is already the top financial exchange for Africa’s businesses and we want investors to seize the exciting opportunities that Africa offers.
“These new initiatives, announced ahead of the UK-Africa investment summit, will make it easier, greener and more secure to invest in Africa, mobilising billions of pounds of sustainable investment to help end poverty.”