February 13, (THEWILL) – The United Kingdom (UK) and Nigeria are set to sign an agreement allowing British lawyers to practice in Nigeria.
Previously, Nigerian law restricted foreign lawyers from practising domestic law.
The UK government, in a statement, said the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership (ETIP), with Nigeria goes beyond simply facilitating lawyer mobility. It also aims to expand trade and investment while creating new opportunities for UK and Nigerian businesses.
The ETIP deal 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 the year to September 2023.
“The partnership will create opportunities across a breadth of sectors crucial to both economies, such as financial and legal services. 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”, the statement said.
The UK government also stated that the agreement will pave the way for future collaboration in the film and media industries, as well as encourage world-renowned 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,” the statement added.
While the details of the deal are sketchy, the agreement will be signed by Nigerian Minister for Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite and UK Minister for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, as part of her visit to Nigeria.
The UK’s Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, stated that the partnership with Nigeria will enable us to collaborate and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
“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”, Badenoch said.
Uzoka-Anite noted that the partnership will shift Nigeria-UK relations from one of shared history and strong bonds to one of shared economic prosperity, from increasing market access and supporting vibrant businesses to creating more jobs and accelerating greater investments in sectors of mutual interests.