UK invested £300 million in 2023 on stability and security in Africa—Minister

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In order to bolster security and maintain stability, the UK government claimed to have spent more than £300 million on programs and peacekeeping in Africa in 2023.

With the intention of strengthening the UK-Nigeria collaboration and showcasing the UK’s commitment to the security of the area, UK Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, revealed this in Abuja on Friday during her visit to the country.

The British High Commission’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office’s Senior Communications and Public Diplomacy Officer, Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, made a statement containing this information.

The Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF) of the UK government is the source of money, according to the statement.

It also said that people in the UK and Africa profited from it.

The minister was also described in the release as stating that the purpose of the trip was to allow her to observe directly the effects of the funding in Nigeria and the ways in which the two nations were addressing common security issues in West Africa, including the threat presented by cyberattacks.

Nigeria and the United Kingdom are reliable economic and security allies. I take great pride in the fact that the UK has been able to contribute significantly to strengthening Nigeria’s security through the CSSF.

Investments in Nigeria and the surrounding area have proven crucial in addressing a number of significant issues, including human displacement, cybercrime, and drug smuggling.

Because these issues are global, by assisting our partners in Nigeria and West Africa, we are also contributing to the protection of individuals in the United Kingdom.

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The minister was cited in the release as stating, “UK and Nigeria recently committed to working more closely together to tackle cybercrime. Closer collaboration is vital in ensuring we can respond to threats and promote a free, open, peaceful, and secure cyberspace.”

Neville-Rolfe added that Nigeria’s stability and security were essential to the security of the UK, the wider area, and the continent as a whole because it was the largest economy in Africa.

In order for the two sides to continue collaborating on common concerns in the years to come, she said that the UK was looking forward to fortifying their current alliance.

Dr. Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, also spoke during his speech and expressed his joy at the continuous strengthening of the UK/Nigeria collaboration, particularly on crucial security and stability problems.

The envoy from the United Kingdom declared that the United Kingdom would stay a faithful ally, collaborating with the Nigerian government to address both internal and regional security issues.

“The Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund of the United Kingdom provides useful aid that is significantly improving the situation in Nigeria. It addresses issues like as human trafficking and aids in the relocation of individuals from warring factions in the northeast region. In these endeavors, the UK is honored to stand as a close partner with Nigeria.

Montgomery stated, “We look forward to strengthening our partnership and collaborating to address shared challenges such as cyber threats, serious organized crime, and violent extremism.”

The minister’s visit, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), occurs a few days following the Security and Defense Partnership negotiations between the UK and Nigeria, during which accords were made on cybersecurity, defense cooperation, counterterrorism, human rights, and civil-military collaboration.

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More than £15 million is rumored to have been invested in bolstering Nigeria’s security, which helped British and Nigerian citizens by identifying and apprehending almost 3 tonnes of illicit substances thanks to direct support from the UK.

It is also claimed that the UK’s financing in northeastern Nigeria has assisted around 500 individuals who were escaping violent organizations in reintegrating into their communities. Other benefits include vocational training, religious counseling, psycho-social support, drug counseling, and literacy and numeracy instruction.

In addition to working together to address regional challenges to stability, the UK and Nigeria have supported UN efforts to stabilize communities in the Lake Chad Basin following more than ten years of extremist violence.

The violence is said to have impacted at least 11 million people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger; hence, a major goal of UK expenditure in the region is to increase the resilience of Nigeria and other West African nations against cybercrime.

According to the announcement, the UK will also support the Africa Joint Operations Against Cybercrime in 2023 and improve the capacity of African law enforcement organizations to combat cybercrime.

It added that the money made possible the 25-nation Africa Cyber Surge II Operation, which led to the discovery of 20,674 suspicious cyber networks connected to losses above $40 million in financial terms and the arrest of 14 alleged cybercriminals.

Additionally, the UK is helping Nigerian judges and prosecutors in all of their states develop their capacity to support investigations utilizing digital evidence as well as to successfully prosecute and prevent cyber offenses.

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“The Nigerian National Security Advisor and the UK Deputy National Security Advisor signed a memorandum of understanding on cyber cooperation during the recent UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership discussions, pledging the two countries to tighter collaboration in addressing mutual cyber threats.

“This year, the UK will provide additional support to address transnational challenges like large-scale migration, illicit finance, and smuggling, as well as integrate security from both overseas and the UK,” the statement read.

It further stated that the support will increase the UK’s capacity to provide partners abroad, including Nigeria and other West African nations, with world-class expertise.

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