UK to sign deal to enable British lawyers practice in Nigeria

The United Kingdom is set to formalize a fresh agreement with Nigeria, enabling British lawyers to engage in legal practice within Nigeria.

According to an official statement released by the Department of Business and Trade in the UK, the British Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, along with her Nigerian counterpart, Doris Uzoka Anitie, the Minister for Trade and Investment, will be signing a groundbreaking trade partnership called the “Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP)” with Nigeria.

The deal will be signed today, Feb. 13.

The statement explained that the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP) is the first the UK has signed with an African country, and is designed to grow the UK and Nigeria’s already thriving trading relationship, which totalled £7 billion in 2023.

This new deal is also expected to eliminate barriers in the legal services and film industry by allowing UK lawyers to practise international law in Nigeria, and foster collaboration between the film and media industry in both countries.

The statement reads: “It will see Nigeria commit to working towards removing barriers preventing UK lawyers from practising international and foreign law in Nigeria, a step that could significantly increase UK legal services exports.

“It will also pave the way for further collaboration in the film and media industry and encourage world-leading UK education providers to offer high quality education in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa and one of the world’s fastest growing economies — predicted to be in the top 20 by GDP by 2035.

“It is also predicted by the UN to nearly double its population to over 370 million people by 2050.”

Badenoch expressed her enthusiasm for the ETIP, highlighting its potential to unleash a wave of exciting opportunities for both countries.

“This partnership with Nigeria — the UK’s first such agreement with an African country — will allow us to work together and seize the opportunities that lie ahead,” she said.

“Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. UK businesses have already seen huge success here and I look forward to seeing how we continue to grow this relationship.”

Echoing her optimism, Uzoka-Anitie hailed the new partnership as a bridge to economic progress.

She underscored the agreement’s potential to transform historic ties into a thriving trade partnership, bolstered by increased market access and mutually beneficial exchanges between the UK and Nigeria.

“The UK is one of our long-standing strategic partners with whom we share strong ties, and it gladdens me that this relationship is set to deepen as we sign the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement,” Uzoka-Anitie said.

“This partnership will see Nigeria-UK relations move beyond one of shared history and strong ties to one of shared economic prosperity.

“From increasing market access and supporting our vibrant businesses, to creating more jobs and accelerate greater investments in sectors of mutual interests.”

The statement noted that while in Nigeria, Badenoch will be visiting the site of a new Charterhouse school, the first UK independent school in West Africa, and meeting with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigerian finance minister, to unlock trade barriers confronting UK businesses.

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