Lord Alan Sugar has upset the Nigerian High Commissioner in London, with comments he made about Nigeria during The Apprentice.

The Evening Standard reports that the businessman and peer caused trouble with a comment he made in the first episode of the new series of the BBC show.

His comments came after contestant Stuart Bagg, 21, said in the boardroom: “If you give me one hundred grand a year, I will deliver to you 10 times that and if I don’t – take it all back. A money back guarantee, I’m that confident”.

Lord Sugar replied: “I had an offer like that from Nigeria once and, funnily enough, it didn’t transpire.”

His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, Nigeria’s High Commissioner in London, said in a statement: “Lord Sugar’s remark on Nigeria is preposterous and spurious for a number of reasons.

“It was an unprovoked, damaging remark on a sovereign and independent state of over 150 million people, based on his alleged sordid and isolated deal with a Nigerian individual.”

A spokesman for The Apprentice said: “It is clear Lord Sugar was just making a reference to a perception about email scams.

“I think that was what the remark was about and a person has chosen to make a comment on it.

“It is clear what he was referring to and I don’t think it can be seen as a comment against the whole Nigerian nation.”