Nigeria Prioritizes Domestic Legal Profession, Restricts UK Lawyer Access



The Federal Government has retracted its earlier statement on the legal aspect of the Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership signed with the United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday.

This came following criticism from Nigerians over the perceived one-sided nature of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the UK.

The Nigerian Minister for Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, in a thread on X, retracted her earlier statement, emphasising that there was no such legal agreement between Nigeria and the UK.

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She said, “Earlier today, Nigeria signed a far-reaching MoU with the United Kingdom for Enhanced Trade and Investment Partnership.

“Regrettably, our earlier report erroneously suggest that Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding that allows lawyers licensed in the United Kingdom to practise in Nigeria.

“We wish to state emphatically that there is no such provision or agreement in the MoU.”

The minister reiterated that Nigeria does not have a Mutual Recognition Agreement with the UK and made no commitment under the MOU or elsewhere, to allow UK-licensed lawyers practise in Nigeria.

“As it currently stands, foreign licensed lawyers (including those licensed in the UK) cannot practise in Nigeria, as categorically stated in the MoU.

“We recognise that cross jurisdictional practice between Nigeria and the United Kingdom is still an ongoing conversation amongst relevant stakeholders within the legal practitioners community in Nigeria, and this was reflected in the MoU,” she added.

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