By Kingsley Jeremiah
Nigerians living abroad have key roles to play in the future of country, particularly in the area of economic development, Director, United Kingdom, UK Department for International Trade, Ahmed Bashir has said.
Speaking in Lagos at the Presidential Dinner of the Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Bashir, who is currently Acting Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, was optimistic necessary business ideas could be transferred into the country through the diaspora community.
He sees the diaspora as a community that must be tapped to grow the country’s economy.“Nigeria’s diaspora is an asset that can make a big difference in Nigeria. Our interviews with Nigerian entrepreneurs indicate that the diaspora have a keen interest in transferring business ideas and practices from the UK into Nigeria,” Bashir said.
The UK is second largest destination after the United States, US for the millions of Nigerians, who live abroad. Other countries that followed closely are South Africa, Gambia, and Canada respectively.
Bashir further harped on the need to support the diaspora and guide them to make an even bigger impact in the country.He said the UK remains committed to supporting the country’s effort to manage oil price slump, the current recession and the challenges of transforming the economy towards a more diversified, inclusive economic base.
“We know the task is difficult, but the UK-Nigeria relationship spreads widely, encompassing security, infrastructure, skills and capacity development, and enhanced trade relations that will help Nigeria recover, prosper and realise the potential we all know this great country has,” Bashir said.
Reiterating that the bilateral trade relationship between Nigeria and UK would remain strong, he stressed that Britain’s exit from European Union would not affect the relationship.
President of NBCC, Dapo Adelegan, said the chamber had made stride in 2016 aimed at garnering business sustainability in different sector of the nation’s economy.He disclosed that the chamber would boost its footprints through the establishment of a London and Abuja secretariat as it plans to mark 40th anniversary in 2017.
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