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UK signs landmark economic partnership with Nigeria



  • Kemi Badenoch to sign first-of-its-kind trade and investment partnership
  • Partnership will build on strong UK-Nigeria trading relationship worth £7 billion and unlock new opportunities in sectors such as legal, financial services and energy
  • Visit comes as UK energy firm Konexa sign deal to support Nigeria’s transition to sustainable energy

The UK will today [Tuesday 13 February] sign a partnership with Nigeria to boost trade and investment and unlock new opportunities for UK and Nigerian businesses. 

The Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) is the first the UK has signed with an African country and is designed to grow the UK and Nigeria’s already thriving trading relationship, which totalled £7 billion in the year to September 2023. 

The partnership will create opportunities across a breadth of sectors crucial to both economies, such as financial and legal services.  

It will see the UK and Nigeria’s shared aspiration to facilitate each other’s lawyers practising foreign and international law in each other’s jurisdictions – a step which could significantly enhance legal services collaboration and exports. It will also pave the way for further collaboration in the film and media industry and encourage world-leading UK education providers to offer high quality education in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and one of the world’s fastest growing economies – predicted to be in the top 20 by GDP by 2035. It is also predicted by the UN to nearly double its population to over 370 million people by 2050

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: 

This partnership with Nigeria – the UK’s first with an African country – will allow us to work together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead. 

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. UK businesses have already seen huge success here and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow this relationship.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch will sign the ETIP alongside Nigerian Trade Minister Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite in Abuja on Tuesday 13 February.  

While in Nigeria she is also visiting the site of a new Charterhouse school, the first UK independent school in West Africa, and meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Finance Minister to unblock trade barriers facing UK businesses. 

Nigerian Minister for Trade Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite said: 

 The UK is one of our long-standing strategic partners with whom we share strong ties, and it gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership. 

This partnership will see Nigeria-UK relations move beyond one of shared history and strong ties to one of shared economic prosperity. From increasing market access and supporting our vibrant businesses, to creating more jobs and accelerate greater investments in sectors of mutual interests. 

TheCityUK International Managing Director Nicola Watkinson said: 

Nigeria is an important growth market for the UK-based financial and related professional services industry and TheCityUK welcomes the signing of the new ETIP. We look forward to continuing our engagement through the working groups to increase market access and remove regulatory frictions.

While in Nigeria, Business and Trade Secretary will also witness the signing of a landmark energy agreement between UK based energy firm Konexa and Nigerian power generation company North South Power (NSP).  

The agreement will enable Konexa to supply Nigerian Breweries PLC with 100% renewable power, promote sustainable development and clean energy adoption, and lead to infrastructure investments of over £14 million. 

Konexa CEO Pradeep Pursnani said: 

 This is a very important milestone for Konexa, North South Power, Nigerian Breweries, and all our investment partners. Over the last few years, Konexa has been working on a disruptive model that matches customer energy demand with renewable energy supply.   

We are looking forward to investing more than £120m in renewable energy generation, transmission, distribution, and battery storage solutions to help our customers transition away from the use of fossil fuel.

Significant progress has been made in resolving trade between the UK and Nigeria in the education and financial sectors, which has created a more favourable trading environment for UK businesses. 

A recent resolution helped to remove restrictions to Transnational Education investment in Nigeria worth around worth around £55 million over 5 years, meaning leading UK education providers, like Charterhouse, can establish campuses in Nigeria.  

The financial services sector is also a key area of collaboration. Achieving a remittance resolution has helped to streamline multiple foreign exchange windows into a single import and export window, making it easier for UK businesses to trade with Nigeria. 

Notes to editors 

  • UK exports to Nigeria were £4 billion in the 12 months to the end of September 2023, an increase of 3% in current prices from the 12 months to September 2022.  
  • Source for trade statistics: ONS UK total trade, all countries, July to September 2023 
  • In August 2023, the Foreign Secretary launched the Propcom+ programme, a UK government-led climate programme which aims to support more than 4 million people in Nigeria (50% of whom will be women) to adopt and scale sustainable agricultural practices that increase productivity and climate resilience while reducing emissions and protecting natural ecosystems. 
  • The UK already has an ambitious Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which has granted enhanced preferential access for almost 3,000 Nigerian products and continues to benefit UK consumers. 
  • Working groups and business dialogues will take place to ensure businesses on both sides benefit and have access to the opportunities this presents. 
  • Further details on the methodology for removing market access barriers such as restrictions to Transnational Education investment in Nigeria are published in a DBT Analytical Working Paper.
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