Nigeria and the UK on Tuesday reaffirmed commitment to address the shared global challenges facing Commonwealth nations and agreed on how to work to create a better future for all their citizens.
NAN reports that the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGOM) is ‘Towards a Common Future’.
The meeting is scheduled to holds from April 16 to April 18.
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja.
Arkwright, therefore stressed the need for Nigeria to take the lead role in some key areas at the April CHOGOM in London.
The envoy said these areas are countering violent extremism, environmental issue, democracy and good governance; anti-corruption, inter-commonwealth trade investment, human trafficking, and security.
“We met on the upcoming commonwealth heads of government meeting when all world leaders would be meeting including President Mohammadu Buhari.
“We discussed also held discussions on trade and economy and how we can cooperate before the commonwealth meeting.
“We are working towards strengthening the Nigerian economy and see how we can further strengthen ties between the UK, Nigeria and the ECOWAS countries.”
Also speaking to NAN, Onyeama, said the meeting centered on issues to be addressed at the commonwealth government meeting.
“The UK wants Nigeria to play a major role on countering violence extremism, human trafficking which the British prime minister has the initiative and she is heading that.
“Others include trade, investment and trade among commonwealth countries, which is something I felt is also a priority for Nigeria and multilateral trade system at the commonwealth,” Onyeama said.
“On good governance, I pointed out that Mr President championed the AU anti-corruption initiative. So the whole issue of good governance is an area Nigeria can play an important role.
“Nigeria can play a leading role at the commonwealth heads of state meeting. We also agreed to follow up to fine tune the areas that Nigeria will take on,” he said
NAN reports that 53 countries are members of the Commonwealth.
The countries span Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse – they are amongst the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries.
Thirty-one of our members are classified as small states – countries with a population size of 1.5 million people or less and larger member states that share similar characteristics with them.
Leaders of member countries shape Commonwealth policies and priorities.
Every two years, they meet to discuss issues affecting the Commonwealth and the wider world at the CHOGM. (NAN)