Sunday, October 25, 2015 10:18 am
The Nigerian-born Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom have pledged to assist the Muhammadu Buhari administration in its task of develop the country.
Smarting from a meeting the four MPs had with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in London, the lawmakers said in separate interviews that there was great hope for Nigeria to return to reckoning with its new kind of leadership.
Mr Chuka Umunna, a member of the opposition Labour Party (Charleston) said the MPs were elated with the agenda of the new administration and the way Nigeria could lead the renaissance in Africa.
He said so much attention is being focused on India and China in trade links with the UK, but added that the UK should not forget its historic link with Africa and Nigeria in particular.
He said that he had led the business and innovative skills for trade for the opposition in the last five years and promised to bring the experience to bear in assisting the Nigeria to develop the country.
He said one of the challenges was identifying the gaps existing in the markets for British companies in Nigeria.
According to him, the incredible financial services sector in UK’s banking sector could be deployed to developing the Nigerian banking system.
“There is the need for more development of infrastructure of Nigeria as well as investments in human capital development.
“Ultimately, if we want to see Nigeria fly as is the case in the UK, we have to invest in our people, the human capital and the people’s skills,” he said.
Umunna said that British companies had a lot to offer Nigeria for the benefit of both countries, adding that his colleagues would help to facilitate the collaboration.
He explained that the trade deficit between both countries could be narrowed soon.
“For me as a Member of Parliament but of Nigerian descendant, I will be playing my part too and I am proud to do so,’’ he said.
Umunna also advised that Nigeria should copy the example of UK in national politics to remove the cultural and tribal affiliations, which hinder the election of people in states they were not indigenes.
He said politics of ideology should take the centre stage in Nigeria, while politics should focus on policies that will help the country to move into “this new era that we are in.’’
Another MP, Helen Grant, representing Maidstone and The Weald, said that Nigeria was moving in the right direction and her colleagues were excited about the free school meals and focus on education by the new administration.
He said the programmes would help the girl-child education which is key to national development.
She said her family raised her up in Lagos and Plateau, which she described as one of the most beautiful places to live in the world.
She said that being part of the international development select committee of the parliament, she would soon visit Nigeria to seek ways it could assist the country.
She said Nigerian politics could advance considerably if more women were in positions of power.
“Women comprise more than 50 percent of the population and if there is fair representation in the local, state and national level, the result can be more incredible,’’ she said
Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton, said the meeting with the vice president revealed the vision of the new administration to Nigerians in the UK.
She said she would deploy her experience to create a new look for the country.