Nigeria’s Demands from Post-Brexit Britain

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By Ayo Akinfe

Next week when President Muhammadu Buhari meets with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UK-Africa Summit in London he should present a 10-point list of demands that look like this:

(1) Given that Britain sold Cadbury to Kraft Foods in 2010 and no longer has a chocolate firm, she should now open a confectionery company in Nigeria to process our cocoa on site. We want a joint venture corporation between UK and Nigerian that will be floated on the London Stock Exchange. The aim is to make Nigeria a leading chocolate supplier

(2) British car manufacturer Aston Martin should take out a 50% stake in Innoson Motors and turn it into an international automobile manufacturer that can compete with the likes of Toyota, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, etc

(3) BA and Virgin Atlantic should each take out a 30% stake in the proposed Nigerian national carrier. The aim should be to create an unprecedented African airline that will rival the likes of Emirates with the Nigerian government holding a 30% stake in the venture

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(4) Rolls Royce must commit to investing in an engine manufacturing plant in Nigeria to supply both its automobile and aviation customers. We want a manufacturing facility that employs about 10,000 skilled workers

(5) Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering should open the world’s largest ship-breaking factory in the Niger Delta and then follow it up with the opening of a shipyard to manufacture merchant vessels, speedboats, fishing trawlers and naval vessels

(6) Nigeria’s power sector is in trouble because it failed to attract investors when it was privatised in 2005. President Buhari should be demanding at least $10bn in investment from Britain’s big six energy suppliers British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. If they take over our dysfunctional Discos and invest in them, it will be a win-win situation for everyone

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(7) Britain owes Nigeria one big time when it comes to railways. They left us with a criminal narrow gauge network that belongs to the early 19th century. Even British coal and US cattle were transported on more modern lines than what they left us. We want the British railway companies to open a Nigerian subsidiary that will address this anomaly. Nigeria has got to be one of the most “under-railed” countries on earth

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(8) GlaxoSmithKline is Britain’s largest company with a market capitalisation of $4.59trn. We want them to open the world’s largest tropical disease drug manufacturing plant in Nigeria. We have all the raw ingredients for drugs to treat malaria, ebola, yellow fever, etc

(9) Britain’s NHS must undertake to train 500 Nigerian doctors every year. They make millions from Nigeria through medical tourism as all our public officials go for medical treatment in the UK every year, so it is payback time

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(10) Nigerian students are one of the biggest sources of revenue for the UK’s education industry. It is payback time here too. Oxford and Cambridge must undertake to train at least 500 lecturers each annually with the aim of bringing our universities up to Ivy League standards.

Written by: Ayo Akinfe

A London-based journalist who has worked as a magazine and newspaper editor for the last 20 years.

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