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UK to collaborate with Enugu government for mutual economic gains

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According to statements made by the Governor of Enugu State, Barr Peter Mbah, and the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery, the governments of the United Kingdom (UK) and Enugu State (ES) would collaborate for the benefit of both countries’ economies.

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The reinstatement of the UK visa facilitation center to Enugu was also requested by Mbah, who wanted to improve trade, commerce, and other links between the UK and the State of Enugu.

During the UK High Commissioner’s Tuesday visit to Governor Mbah at the Government House in Enugu, both men made this clear.

Speaking during the visit, Dr. Montgomery noted that the UK had collaborated with Enugu State for more than 20 years on issues like public health sector reforms, education reforms, and power sector reforms, among others. He also expressed his support for the new administration’s investment and economic growth initiatives in the state.

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In order to continue that collaboration, we are interested. I’ve been reading the news, and I’ve noticed how you’ve been trying to already stamp your mark on changes and your goals for the country.

“I’m here to listen, comprehend, and learn more about your priorities and those of your new government in order to look into potential areas of future cooperation.

“I am aware that extremely significant reforms are currently being implemented in Nigeria in an effort to get the economy back on track and moving in the direction of higher growth.

“We sincerely believe that the South East and Enugu State would experience an increase in economic prospects in the years to come.

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“We can see the chances for a better growth path for Nigeria, while there may be some stresses and volatility to handle in the short term.

He declared, “The UK is highly keen in investigating collaborations on trade and investment, and I have come to Enugu to comprehend your agenda and to investigate those areas of potential partnership moving forward.

In his remarks, Governor Mbah said that Enugu was keen to reclaim its dominant position after going down memory lane to recall what he called the state’s significant responsibilities and place in Nigerian history.

“We also presented the people of Enugu State with an aspirational vision of where our economy may go. One of the things we mentioned to them was our desire to make Enugu a prime location for tourism, commerce, investment, and living. We also have plans to end the state’s extreme poverty, which is higher than the national average.

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This is why we find your presence to us today so surprising because we don’t think we can make this journey by ourselves. We require alliances. Collaborations are necessary for us to accomplish that. We have an interesting history of collaboration with the UK, as you alluded to.

Mbah emphasized that it was essential to bring back the British Council and the UK visa facilitation center to Enugu, saying, “I’ve already discussed some of the important historical roles Enugu has played in the history of the South, and there is simply no other location suitable for a visa facilitation center.” Therefore, we anticipate it will increase commerce, investment, and mutual collaboration between the UK and our state.

Mbah added that the state would host the Investment and Economic Growth Stakeholder Roundtable in September to announce the Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum scheduled for April 2024, which would highlight the state’s investment potentials and enlist assistance in maximizing those potentials.

As power had been devolved to the Concurrent List in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended), the governor also requested technical assistance from the UK government in the fields of power to create and build the Enugu electricity market and the ensuing regulatory body.

Additionally, he asked the UK government for assistance in creating Enugu State as a special zone for agro-allied processing in line with the administration’s platform and the state’s inclusion on the FG’s list for that reason.

We are also interested in the green economic change being driven by the private sector, as we naturally think we can contribute by using renewable energy to meet the majority of our catchment’s power needs. Therefore, Mbah emphasized, “the emphasis is on technical aid and support.

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