Senator George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has expressed his desire to strengthen the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the British government, particularly in the areas of security, agriculture, and infrastructural development. This announcement came during a courtesy visit by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, to the SGF’s office.
According to a statement from the Office of the SGF’s Director of Information, Willy Bassey, Senator Akume highlighted the longstanding colonial relationship between the UK and Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of working together for the mutual benefit of both countries. He stressed that their focus is on making a positive impact on the lives of the Nigerian people through infrastructure development, food security, and energy, and expressed confidence that with British support, the bilateral relationship will reach new heights.
In addition to his congratulations on the British High Commissioner’s appointment, Senator Akume appealed to the British government for assistance in addressing Nigeria’s challenges, including the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, and farmers-herders clashes, drawing parallels to the UK’s support during Nigeria’s civil war. He also highlighted the historical ties between the British government and Nigeria, underscoring the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in areas such as education and healthcare.
During the visit, High Commissioner Montgomery praised the SGF’s appointment by President Bola Tinubu and commended the Nigerian government’s efforts in implementing significant economic reforms that have led to sustainable growth. The purpose of their visit was to gain insight into the federal government’s key priorities, enabling the UK government to align its support accordingly.
Montgomery noted that the UK government, through the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office and Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (FCDO-PERL), will continue its collaboration with Nigeria through ongoing programs like the Central Delivery Coordination Unit (CDCU), ministerial retreats, and the community of practice for secretaries of state governments in the country.