African British Indiaspora Returnees Organisation NGO, is duly registered in the UK. We are involved among other things passionately embracing ‘FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT’ (FDI), ‘Europe Economic Summit’ we also encourage Local Business Opportunities: Travel Tours for Trade Exhibitions, Seminars, Awards Presentation, Conferences and Agricultural-businesses developments with Technology transfer from the West (UK, EU, USA, MIDDLE EAST & CANADA) to African Countries COVERED.

The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Charles Bowman speaks on trade opportunities between the City of London in Partnership with “African British In Diaspora Returnees Organisation NGO duly registered in the UK”

Honourable Minister, High Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a real honour to be here with you all this afternoon.

I’d like to start by thanking the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment whom I first met in London at the UK/Nigeria Trade & Investment Summit in the margins of the Commonwealth Business Forum. I also had the pleasure of meeting him alongside His Excellency Vice-President Osinbajo in Abuja a few days ago. Many thanks for that generous introduction and for joining us today.

Just a few words about myself, I have the privilege of being the 690th Lord Mayor of the City of London. And often get asked two questions:

“Gosh, have you been around for all that length of time?”

And, “What is the difference between you and the Mayor of London” – my good friend Sadiq Khan.

As the Lord Mayor, my principal role is to act as an ambassador and a key spokesperson for the UK’s financial and professional services sector, which has had its historic links in the City…

It is a sector that employs two point three million people nationwide…

…it accounts for some twelve per cent of our GDP…

It is the world’s leading exporter of financial services, it has the largest insurance sector in Europe, and hosts more than 250 foreign banks – more than any other international financial centre.

It is a national, European and international jewel.

In this role, I will spend some 110 days during my year in office travelling to 30 countries to promote the UK financial and professional services sector. And it is no coincidence that I have chosen Nigeria – an important bilateral partner with whom the UK already enjoys a special bond as evidenced by the important contribution the 200,000-strong Nigerian diaspora make to the UK. We have a rich history of collaboration and a joint desire to deepen this further.

And whilst in Nigeria, I have five key objectives:

First, to provide assurance that the City of London will remain the pre-eminent global financial centre well into the future.

Second, to advance the strong ties that exist between the UK and Nigeria.

Third, to harness this relationship to improve bilateral trade, investment and business-to-business opportunities.

Fourth, to promote innovation in financial services.

And fifth and finally, to engage, discuss and promote my Mayoral programme – The Business of Trust – which aims to create a lasting legacy of better business, trusted by society.

It is these five priorities that I want to talk to you about today – in short, I want to talk about the City’s offer to Nigeria.

The relationship between Nigeria and the UK is strong.

Our bilateral trade is strong, currently standing at around £3.4 billion pounds per annum. And it is set to become even stronger – forecast to reach £7 billion by 2030.

This is a great foundation on which to build future success, but in my view, we can do much more.

As I’ve travelled in Abuja and Lagos these past few days it has become abundantly clear that Nigeria – already Africa’s largest and most populous country – is at an important point. With the rapidly rising population and the current economic growth rates, the IMF has forecast declining GDP per capita for the foreseeable future. To convert the democratic reality from challenge to opportunity, the country needs to sustain some 3-4 million jobs each year and, to achieve that, economic growth must rise from the current 2 per cent to at least 6-7 per cent.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is clearly possible. But to ensure the opportunity is harnessed, the economic engine needs to shift up a gear or two.