British High Commissioner Richard Montgomery has said that the big economic decisions being taken by the Bola Tinubu administration are really important and are being noticed around the world.
The envoy spoke to State House Correspondents after he met with Vice President Kashim Shettima, in the State House, Abuja.
According to him, the removal of fuel subsidies; the exchange rate reform, all create a much better investment environment.
He added that British businesses in finance, banking and investment sectors are “all responding very positively to these first decisions.”
Montgomery said: “We know that there are tough times that are going on at the moment, inflation and unemployment. The vice president and I also touched on some of the measures that might be possible to cushion the blow of some of these economic pressures.
“But I think the big issue is that these reforms help put Nigeria on a higher growth path; they will attract more investments and the United Kingdom and the city of London see Nigeria as a big opportunity going forward. I will be doing my part to try to boost those, enhance trade and investment.”
Speaking on students’ visas concerns, the British envoy said: “So, that issue was not raised in the meeting just now but I would like to put the media debate on this in a wider context.
“Last year, for example, the UK granted 3 million new visas of which 325,000 of those visas were between Nigeria and the UK.
“So, Nigerian visitors constitute over 10 per cent of the people coming to London and the UK.
“On the issue of students’ visas, I will also like to provide the contest; that the number of Nigerian students coming to the UK has increased fivefold in the last three years; it is a fantastic success story for our universities and we are really delighted that so many Nigerians are coming to the UK.
“The issue about restrictions of people bringing dependents; that is not just for Nigeria but many parts of the world; many more students are trying to bring their dependents with them; and I think there are two issues here; the first is –it is not always possible to find housing services to meet all the needs of all our existing student population.
“Secondly, I think reasonable people will accept that we have to manage our visitor numbers and that we have to manage migration in and out of the UK; just as the Nigerian government does for your own borders.”
Montgomery said the meeting with the Vice President also focused on the enduring partnership between Nigeria and the UK.
“Our nations have a shared interest in several areas, such as a longstanding commitment to development cooperation. Additionally, we have forged strong trade and investment relationships, and we have collaborated on security and defence initiatives.
“As many of you were seeing from recent talks, we also had good talks on home affairs and justice and we have great people-to-people links that mean education, and health, and we also discussed a number of issues to do with on how we can improve our relationships in the future.”