Duke: Britain Must Explore Business Opportunities in Nigeria

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Emma Okonji

A former Governor of Cross River State, Dr. Donald Duke, has called on the United Kingdom (UK), especially the British government, to take advantage of the business opportunities that abound in Nigeria.

Duke who was a guest speaker during the 40th anniversary dinner of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), which held recently in Lagos, said there are lots of untapped opportunities in the Nigerian gas sector, which the United Kingdom could take advantage of, especially in the area of gas flaring.

According to Duke, “Nigeria is currently witnessing a lot of wastage in gas flaring, instead of embarking on gas piping, which is a huge business that the Britain should shine their eyes to and take advantage of, since there is an existing business relationship between Nigeria and Britain, under the platform of NBCC.”

He explained that Nigeria has intelligent people spread all over the world, but lacks the proper infrastructure to turn opportunities into money spinning ventures, hence the need for Britain to see huge opportunities in the challenges facing Nigeria as a country.
He said over 10 per cent of people in top positions in the UK, are Nigerians who are turning opportunities into money ventures across globe, but could not do so in their country Nigeria because of poor infrastructure.

Duke also called on the NBCC to diversify its trade business with the UK, insisting that Nigeria could become one of the largest non-oil export goods countries, if given the opportunity.

President and Chairman of Council, NBCC, Dapo Adelegan said: “As the second largest trading partner to the UK, Nigeria looks forward to assist the UK navigate Brexit and NBCC looks forward to further trade and investment expansion with the UK under the emerging economic regime.”

Between 2010 and 2014, NBCC played a critical role in doubling trade between both countries from £4 billion to £8 billion as envisaged by the governments of both countries. In 2014, we set the record as the only bilateral chamber of commerce in the world to celebrate a centenary of economic relations with the UK, and we look forward to celebrate a second centenary as we work towards diverse milestones, Adelegan said.

“We are now building the NBCC plaza at Lekki, Lagos, to further cement our commitment to drive sustainable economic relations between Nigeria and the UK,” Adelegan added.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, NBCC 40th anniversary committee, Mr. Akinola Akintunde, welcomed all dignitaries and thanked members of his committee for making the anniversary dinner a huge success.

Part of the highlights of the anniversary dinner, were investiture of patrons and the recognition of new members of NBCC. Some of the patrons that were decorated included Founder, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Capital Market Icon, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun; the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Thomas Arkwright; Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Duke.