UK appoints first British-Nigerian as trade envoy to Nigeria
The British Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson has confirmed the appointment of Helen Grant MP, a British-Nigerian, as the new trade envoy to Nigeria.
Grant’s role will be to provide support to the UK Government’s trade and investment priorities in Nigeria through high-level engagement with Nigerian Ministers by leading trade delegations, engaging key businesses in the market and promoting bilateral trade.
Her duties will also include promoting trade for UK businesses in selected high-growth and developing markets around the world, and support the activities of the UK’s Department of international trade.
Born in London to a British mother and a Nigerian father, Grant is married with two sons. She is a graduate of law from the University of Hull, and set up her own legal practice, specialising in family breakdown and domestic violence before becoming the first female Anglo-African Conservative Member of Parliament, when she was elected MP for Maidstone and The Weald in 2010, winning three consecutive elections since then.
Grant’s impressive political career includes serving as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice and for Women and Equalities, under former Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition Government, and later, Minister of State for Sport and Tourism.
She also served as Conservative Party Vice Chairman for Communities, focusing on issues concerning diversity, inclusion, equality, social cohesion, racism and discrimination under former Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.
Speaking on her appointment as the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria, Grant said, “I am absolutely delighted with my appointment. Both countries are close to my heart, my father being Nigerian and my mother English. Now, I have an opportunity to employ my rich dual heritage to help magnify an already strong UK–Nigerian relationship for our mutual prosperity.”
She added: “As the largest and fastest growing economy on the African continent, the potential for trade and investment with Nigeria is stunning. I will do my utmost to help develop that as part of our nation’s collective drive towards an outward looking global Britain.
“As a champion of inclusivity and human rights, in and outside of politics, Grant has also lent her voice to bringing businesses together with people of diverse and under-represented backgrounds as former Chair of the Government’s Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network, and as a former Trustee of both the Social Mobility Foundation and the Human Trafficking Foundation.”
Helen Grant is the second Trade Envoy since the programme launched in 2012, succeeding John Howell MP.