Lagos, Aug. 2, 2023: James Cleverly, British Foreign Secretary says President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic reforms, including the removal of fuel subsidy and the unifying of exchange rates will encourage investment and help drive growth.
He made this known on Tuesday during a business briefing in Lagos.
The foreign secretary, also said sound macroeconomic reforms at national level, no matter how inventive it was could “only go so far”.
Cleverly, however, noted that African countries needed capital to drive investment, development and jobs, saying, “it is imperative that the international financial institutions accommodate shared aspirations for a bigger, more responsive and fairer system”.
According to him, if multilateral development banks implemented recommendations of G20’s independent capital adequacy framework, they will unlock hundreds of billions of dollars in development finance.
Cleverly said that the UK was taking a leading role on the reform of international financial institutions and investing in World Bank and the African Development Bank.
“The public sector alone cannot provide all the investments needed. Private capital is essential.
“That is why the UK government is promoting private sector investment in Nigeria and across the continent and we’ll do our utmost to galvanize even more interest.
“We will continue to champion further multilateral reforms that will benefit Africa. For example, the better and faster implementation of international tax rules will stop revenues leaking from your national treasury,” he said.
He said that no one country could bring about multilateral reform, but change was possible with partnership on reforms that benefited not just African countries, or the UK but the world at large.
Cleverly said because a sustainable international order was the interest of all, the moment it was safer, it would drive future prosperity.
According to him, growth will bring reward, better jobs as well as the revenues needed to have the infrastructure and modern services for all Nigerians.
He added that a real uplift in growth and prosperity could not come without an increase in international trade.
The foreign secretary said that the UK’s developing countries trading scheme would extend tariff cuts to hundreds of all products exported from developing countries in Africa and elsewhere.
“This means that 98 percent of goods imported from Africa into the UK will enter duty free and new rules of origin will help the least developed economies integrate into global supply chains.
“Increased trade stimulates partnerships and our collective power today, the power of African countries and the UK together is founded on the quality and the number of our partnerships.
“Only together can we adequately address shared challenges, harness opportunities and improve living standards.
“That is why in April 2024, we will be co-hosting the UK-Africa investment summit in London. This will be a milestone event and a firm sign that we are stepping up our engagement and partnership with African countries ” he said.