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UK to sign trade deal allowing UK lawyers to practice in Nigeria

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The United Kingdom is set to establish a groundbreaking trade and economic partnership with Nigeria, creating new opportunities in energy, legal, and financial services.

The British Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, alongside her Nigerian counterpart, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka Anitie, will sign the “Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership” marking the first-of-its-kind trade agreement with an African nation.

In a statement by the UK’s Department of Business and Trade, the partnership aims to break down barriers in the legal services and film industry.

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The statement reads in part, “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.”

The ETIP is expected to remove hindrances preventing UK lawyers from practicing foreign law in Nigeria, potentially boosting UK legal services exports and fostering increased collaboration in the film and media industry.

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Total trade between the UK and Nigeria reached £7 billion ($8.8 billion) in the year to September 2023. Speaking about the agreement, Ms. Kemi Badenoch emphasized that the ETIP would unlock future opportunities and enhance trade relations between the two nations, recognizing Nigeria as one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

Nigeria’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anitie, expressed optimism about the partnership, stating that it would elevate relations beyond historical ties to economic progress.

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The collaboration is expected to open market access for trade, support businesses, create jobs, and accelerate investments in mutually beneficial sectors.

As part of her visit to Nigeria, Ms. Badenoch will visit the site of a new Charterhouse school, marking the establishment of the first UK independent school in West Africa.

Additionally, she will engage in discussions with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Finance Minister to address trade barriers hindering UK businesses.

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