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British High Commissioner challenges FG to take Nigeria out of recession

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British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Thomas Arkwright, has challenged the Federal Government to take Nigeria out of the current economic predicament.

Arkwright during a courtesy visit on the Maigarin Lokoja, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Maikarfi III, said sometimes he is taken aback with expectations that Britain should come to the aid of Nigeria as if it is a responsibility.

He said Nigeria has the resources like oil, it has its leaders, it has the money and all requirements.

“I accept that we have a role but the responsibility and the leadership of pulling this country out of the difficulties that we are in is by its rulers. It is with the democrats, the elected leaders of this country. It is with the LGEAs, the state governments. It is with the Federal Government.

“Those are the people elected in order to improve the situation. The British government is prepared to work with those authorities, we are already doing that.”

He said in the area of agriculture, processed fruits from other African countries like Kenya and South Africa find their way to the shelves in the UK because they meet with their standards but Nigerian processed fruits are no where.

“In all of that, the UK can help to provide expertise but it is not our business to build factories in Nigeria, it is our business to promote the investment that is needed in order to help Nigeria do that for themselves.’’

He said they are looking at ways they can help improve the business climate.
“Nigeria is a proud and rightly independent country that has its own responsibilities, my view is those responsibilities needs to be carried out by the government. I think that is exactly what the government is doing.”

He said the high level of corruption in the country, which the president has promised to tackle, has been holding back investors.

He explained that the UK government is already doing so much in terms of its overseas development, military training support and fight against corruption.

He said Britain was not interested in taking over Nigeria but in helping her.

Arkwright pointed out that Britain have some responsibilities in the need to attract investments to the tourists sites of the European monuments in Lokoja.

Insecurity he said was also posing as obstacle to the influx of foreign investors. He challenged the government, the traditional institutions and the communities to do more in tackling insecurity for the environment to be conducive for investors.

Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Maikarfi III is worried that River Niger, which was used by multinational companies with the aid of light cargoes for bringing goods to Lokoja and Niger State in the sixties can no longer be useful for that purpose.

He called on the High Commissioner to see how the good old days could be re invented with investors from UK.
According to him, if the city becomes a beehive of business activities, the youths would not be idle or become willing tools for criminal activities.


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