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PHOTOS: FG, UK sign deal to enhance trade, investment partnership

PHOTOS: FG, UK sign deal to enhance trade, investment partnership
February 13
17:08 2024

The federal government says it has signed an agreement with the United Kingdom to enhance trade and investment in both countries.

It was reported earlier that both countries would sign a deal to boost trade and investments, as well as unlock new opportunities in various sectors.

Announcing the agreement on Tuesday, Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of industry, trade and investment, in a post on X, said the move is a way of increasing bilateral relations between both countries.

“Earlier today, Nigeria signed a far-reaching MOU with the United Kingdom for Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership. It is a robust partnership understanding which promises to be a springboard for immense growth in trade relations with the United Kingdom,” she said.

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“The Partnership was well thought-out and painstakingly negotiated by Nigerian experts across various sectors.

“It touched on areas of mutual business interests including finance, technical barriers to trade, healthcare, investment, customs and trade facilitation, agriculture, intellectual property, creative industry and legal services – to mention a few.”

Meanwhile, the minister had earlier stated that an agreement has been signed with the UK government to allow British lawyers to practice in Nigeria.

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However, in another statement, Uzoka-Anite clarified that cross-jurisdictional practice between Nigeria and the UK is still an ongoing conversation, with no agreement signed yet.

“Regrettably, our earlier report erroneously suggest that Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that allows lawyers licensed in the United Kingdom to practise in Nigeria,” Uzoka-Anite said.

“We wish to state emphatically that there is no such provision or agreement in the MOU. For avoidance of doubt, Nigeria does not have a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the United Kingdom and made no commitment, under the MOU or elsewhere, to allow UK-licensed lawyers practise in Nigeria.

“As it currently stands, foreign licensed lawyers (including those licensed in the U.K.) cannot practice in Nigeria, as categorically stated in the MOU.

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“We recognise that cross-jurisdictional practice between Nigeria and the United Kingdom is still an on-going conversation amongst relevant stakeholders within the legal practitioners community in Nigeria, and this was reflected in the MOU.”

Uzoka-Anite said both countries as of September 2023, had already achieved an impressive combined trade value of £7 billion ($8.8 billion).

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