People-trafficking and slavery on agenda as Theresa May arrives in Nigeria
The Prime Minister will hold talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and then head to Lagos to announce business projects.
Theresa May has arrived in Nigeria for the second leg of her whistle-stop Africa tour with trade, security and people-trafficking on the agenda.
The Prime Minister will hold talks with President Muhammadu Buhari in the capital, Abuja, with the threat of Boko Haram in west Africa expected to be discussed.
She will then head to Lagos to announce business projects, develop financial links amid post-Brexit uncertainty for the City of London, and meet survivors of modern slavery.
UK and French support to help Nigeria and Niger develop their borders to prevent trafficking, and counselling plus training to help 1,700 migrants and victims of modern slavery are among the pledges to be made.
She will launch “Legal Services are Great” – a 12-month project in which the UK helps develop Nigeria’s legal industry – along with schemes in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to support businesses across the continent connect, grow and trade.
Mrs May will also welcome Nigerian firm Dangote Cement’s commitment to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), as it joins more than 100 African companies to take such action.
The Prime Minister arrives in Nigeria after making her pitch for the UK to help develop Africa, particularly in the post-Brexit world, and seize a greater share in the market amid fierce global competition from China, France and the United States.
She used a visit to South Africa to also outline her plan for how overseas aid should work in Britain’s interests and announced Britain’s first post-Brexit trade pact with a group of southern African countries.
But with Africa representing a small percentage of the UK’s trade, more will have to emerge beyond the agreements announced to satisfy Brexit critics who believe it will be difficult to replicate the advantages of EU membership.
A lighter moment in her first stop in South Africa saw Mrs May dance with schoolchildren before jokingly playing down her chances of appearing on Strictly Come Dancing.
Ahead of her trip to Nigeria, Mrs May described modern slavery as “one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time” and labelled the UK a “world leader” in trying to end the crime.
She said: “Today we are stepping up our partnership with Nigerian authorities to find traffickers and bring them to justice.”
On business matters, she added: “London is a world-leading financial centre and, as the UK leaves the European Union, it will play an even greater role in financing the fastest-growing economies across Africa and the world.”
Mrs May’s three-day trade mission ends in Kenya on Thursday.
She has been joined by junior ministers and business leaders.