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UK foreign secretary Cleverly in Nigeria for trade and climate talks

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will discuss security, trade and climate matters during his first visit to Nigeria, according to the UK foreign office.

He is expected to meet Nigerian president Bola Ahmed Tinubu and national security adviser Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to discuss the links between the two countries, including how to increase bilateral trade and investment plus strengthened security cooperation.

Cleverly is on a three-country, four-day African tour and his visit to Nigeria comes after a military takeover in neighbouring Niger which deposed the president.

The Foreign Office has advised against all travel to Niger while the Nigeria-Niger land border has been closed by the Nigerian authorities in response to the political situation.

Cleverly plans to use his two-day stop in Nigeria to announce a package of support to help make the country’s agriculture sector more climate resilient.

The Foreign Office said the funding would help develop heat and flood-tolerant crops and increase soil fertility, while efforts will also be made to alleviate some of the agricultural trade barriers to UK imports.

Cleverly will be in Lagos on Tuesday to announce a £10 million ($13 million) UK-backed facility in Nigeria intended to unlock funding for “climate-friendly” infrastructure projects, such as renewable energy services to homes in urban areas.

On Wednesday, the foreign secretary will head to the capital Abuja to outline a £55 million contract under a previously announced UK international climate finance programme – known as Propcom+ – which seeks to support the development of Nigeria’s rural economy.

Cleverly said, “Nigeria has a booming population and the largest economy in Africa – there is huge potential for an even closer partnership between UK-and Nigerian businesses which will be of mutual benefit to both countries.”

“Together we are focusing on the future putting in place green, clean measures, both in agriculture and infrastructure development, to create climate-resilient solutions for the global challenges we all face today and will increasingly face in the years to come.”


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