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Tinubu reforms turning Nigeria to regional, global powerhouse – UK envoy 

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'Emilokan is clueless', Nigerians blast Tinubu over economic hardship

The United Kingdom has observed that Nigeria is fast becoming a regional and global powerhouse with the various reforms and multi-sector reorganizations the Bola Tinubu-led government has initiated since assuming office in May 2023.

The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Dr. Richard Montgomery, made the observation in a goodwill message he gave at the 2023 Cabinet Retreat held for ministers, presidential aides, permanent secretaries, and top government functionaries on Wednesday in Abuja.

The envoy, who assured the nation of the UK’s continued support in the spirit of mutual respect and partnership, also observed that Nigeria, at the moment, is faced with daunting economic, security, and social challenges, but applauded President Tinubu’s reform initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges.

Montgomery, who affirmed his country’s renewed partnership with Nigeria, also pointed out that Nigeria is projected to become the third-largest country in the world by the year 2050.

He said, “Mr. President, I’d like to recognize Nigeria as a growing regional and global powerhouse. You are likely to become the third-largest country in the world by 2050. I applaud your plans to stabilize the economy and put it on a higher growth path to prosperity, on which so much else depends.

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“The UK stands ready to support in the spirit of mutual respect. The UK stands ready to stand up for our partnerships across a range of areas, and I wish you and your government all the best wishes and goodwill in your work ahead.

“Nigeria faces big security, economic, and social challenges. In a global context, the big challenges are a difficult global economy and shifting geopolitical and foreign policy pressures. As I said in public before, I applaud the big and bold economic reforms that you are taking forward.

“I admire your leadership of ECOWAS, your strong voice on democracy, and your G20 international engagement, all of which thrust Nigeria back onto the international stage.

“I also wanted, Mr. President, to use my goodwill message to confirm the UK’s renewed partnership with Nigeria, with your cabinet, and with the Nigerian people. Nigeria really matters to the UK; we share history, we share a commitment to democratic politics, and we share interests in defence and security, trade, and investment, which have strong people-to-people needs”.

The High Commissioner also applauded President Tinubu’s initiatives to enhance economic stability and steer the country towards a more prosperous growth trajectory.

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He also added that the eight priorities of the present administration had provided clarity of purpose.

His words: “Your administration inherited big problems. It is a difficult time, people are hurting, expectations are high, and better deliveries are desperately needed, in a global context. Your eight priorities under your Renewed Hope Agenda provide clarity of purpose, and your policy advisory committee has identified plans and performance indicators”.

In another goodwill message, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, disclosed that the bank has committed over $11 billion in the past three years to the government at both the federal and sub-national levels.

Chaudhuri, who assured President Tinubu of the Bank’s support in his administration’s incredibly important and challenging task of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty and making lives better for everyone, noted that the country was at a critical juncture to either continue muddling through business as usual with the risk of things falling apart or have the courage to chart a new course and take bold steps to finally see Nigeria rise to its true potential.

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The World Bank Country Director said, “I hope that through what we’ve been able to do, we will be able to continue supporting you as you realize this enormously important task.

“Although we are at the World Bank, we’re a development organization, and over the last three and a half, four years that I’ve been here, our board has committed over $11 billion in financing for the government, and our financing is meant to go to the government at both the federal and subnational levels. So we’re here to support your programmes, we take guidance from you.

“But even though we have the World Bank in our name, I hope you will think of us as more than a bank. I mean, I really hope that we will be able to earn your trust that we have something more to offer in the nature of solutions to help you think through and then implement the priorities and focus areas that you’ve laid out by bringing in ideas and experience.

“Financing is only part of the solution. It’s really the ideas and the vision. So you have my commitment. I and the team—the entire World Bank across the globe—we’re here to support you on that.

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“I would also like to say that I feel particularly privileged to have been here in Nigeria these last four years, especially in the last few months at this critical juncture where Nigeria faced a critical choice: whether to continue muddling through business as usual with the risk of things falling apart and growing by the day or have the courage to chart a new course and take bold steps to really finally see Nigeria rise to its true potential.”

Chaudhuri commended President Tinubu’s bold steps since assumption of office to chart a new course for Nigeria to provide the renewed hope agenda that he promised the citizens.

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