Nigeria will become the third biggest country in the world, overtaking the United States (U.S) to join China and India as the three biggest countries, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has said.
Arkwright, who spoke in Lagos while delivering a lecture titled: Nigeria-British Relations – The Next 100 Years as part of activities to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), said Nigeria’s role in the world would change significantly as the country will become the third biggest country in the world
He added that in few years, Lagos will also become a major global economic centre.
He said: “By 2050, Nigeria will be the third biggest country in the world as it will overtake the U.S.A to join China and India as the three biggest countries.
“Secondly, Lagos – Africa’s fifth largest economy in 2016 – will become more important in the coming years as the African example of how to break down barriers to doing business and bring in foreign investment.”
Arkwright said the British Embassy in Nigeria has started special services that will allow visa applicants to get their visa on the same day or within five days of application. The embassy has also reduced the maximum turnaround time for all classes of visa application to 15 days.
He said United Kingdom (U.K) remained steadfast in her resolve to sustain the age-long relationships with Nigeria as well as provide support for Nigerians, especially by keeping her doors open to law abiding citizens.
“In 2016, around 140,000 Nigerians applied for visas to the UK. Of those that applied for student visas, 90 per cent were successful. For those that applied for other visas, around 70 per cent were successful. There are as many as 250,000 Nigerian nationals or dual Nigerian-British nationals living in the UK at the moment. Some claim the total Nigerian diaspora in the UK is well over a million.”We want Nigerians to come to the UK. They come to do business, to study, to see family and to invest in our economy.
“We have introduced a same day visa service – at a cost – for visas in Nigeria. We have also introduced a service that can mean you get a visa within five days, at a lower cost than the same day process. Our turnaround time for all other visas is 15 days. The key thing, however, is that all visitors to the UK – whether they are from Nigeria or anywhere else – must respect the law and the length of time their visa says they can stay in the UK,” Arkwright said.
He disclosed that the UK was happy with the economic outlook of Nigeria, adding that by virtue of the policies and investment habits of the current Federal Government of Nigeria, it is clear that the country would no longer be dependent on aid to develop.