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UK announces £70m programme to create 100,000 jobs


Visiting Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a chat with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The UK Government
has announced a new £70-million programme to create 100,000 jobs in Nigeria
says the Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin.

Baldwin said this during a business event as part of
the activities for Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Nigeria on Wednesday.
Baldwin, who led a business delegation to the event,
said that the programme would raise the income of three million people from the
poorest parts of Nigeria.
“We are here today to talk about technology links
between the UK Fintech sector and the Nigerian Fintech sector and will bring
inward investment in terms of this important sector of technology.
“Today, it is all about celebrating those links
through technology and I am very excited that the Prime Minister is announcing
today a new £70 million programme that will create some 100,000 jobs in Nigeria
and will also raise the income of three million people from the poorest parts
of Nigeria.”
The minister said that the event was celebrating the
role of growing businesses and entrepreneurs and also highlighted the
partnerships of both countries in the area of technological development.
She added that the delegation consisted of various
UK businesses were willing to invest “the kind of capital that creates jobs”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Vice
President Yemi Osinbajo and the Ministers of Finance and Power, Works and
Housing, Kemi Adeosun and Babatunde Fashola respectively, attended the event.
Osinbajo said that the Federal Government was keen
on driving technology development in the country in support of the government’s
economic growth plan.
The vice president said there was the need to create
the right environment for technology companies to thrive and further gave an
assurance of the government’s commitment to support innovation in the country.
“I think just looking at some of the start-ups that
we see today, many of them started while the recession was on and they proved,
by just a number of jobs, value and wealth created, that this is the future
starting today.
“This is why we have started up first with the
creativity and technology advisory group; many of these start-ups are members
of this group where they help to formulate policies with Federal Government
policy makers especially in fintech, which are some of the new areas we need to
formulate policies.”
NAN also reports that the event, held at Ventures
Park, an innovation hub and co-working space for entrepreneurs, showcased a
number products from start-up entrepreneurs.
The founder of Ventures Park, Mr Kola Aina, said
that the government’s `ease of doing business’ policy had been “relatively
helpful” to the growth of small and medium-scale business in the country.
“There is also a lot of talk about incentives like
the pioneer start-ups programmes that we are looking to see how start-ups can
begin to benefit from.
“More than ever before, we are starting to see a lot
of support from the government.”
The event simultaneously held a panel discussion
highlighting opportunities for doing business among businessmen of both
The panel included Fashola, Adeosun and other key
government representatives.
The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Charles
Bowman, was also part of the discussions alongside several other UK
May’s visit to Nigeria is part of her tour of some
African countries.
The Prime Minister is expected in Nairobi on
Thursday, where she will meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and see British soldiers
from Kenya and other African countries in the techniques needed to identify and
destroy improvised explosive devices before they go to fight Al-Shabaab in
The prime minister is on a trade mission in an
attempt to bolster Britain’s post-Brexit fortunes. This is her first visit to
Africa since she became prime minister in 2016.
She is accompanied by a 30-man business delegation
as part of her efforts to “deepen and strengthen” partnerships around the world
as the UK prepares to leave the European Union next year.(NAN)

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