Nigeria Desirous to Strengthen Economic Cooperation with Ethiopia: Ambassador

96

ENA,February 16/2020 Nigeria is keen to strengthen its economic, investment and trade partnership with Ethiopia, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Bankole Adeoye said the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari will promote the two countries multifaceted ties.

He added that Ethiopia and Nigeria have strong bilateral relations and have come a long way based on mutual respect and common issues of interests.

Both Ethiopia and Nigeria are the most populous countries in Africa, Adeoye said, adding that “we have similar challenges to share the best strategies and global perspectives.”

“Nigeria and Ethiopia have come a long way. It is historic but it is also a strategic partnership. A partnership that is determined by mutual respect, common areas of interest, particularly in championing the African course,” he articulated.

The political cooperation will expand to the height of parliamentary cooperation he said, and added that “we are looking at what we can do best in areas such as promoting private sector collaboration.”

Nigerian anchor companies like Dangote Cement and some other small ones in the sector of food are currently engaged in the Ethiopian investment, he explained.

He further said “we want to encourage many Nigerians to invest in Ethiopia’s economy which is one of the fastest growing in the world.”

Noting that in the last three years both countries have been able to promote and host a number of official meetings, and added that the third session will reconvene in Addis Ababa in the near future.

“What is critical is that we are looking for a whole augment of areas that the political leaders have not given us the strategic direction to look at a number of key areas, particularly around promoting economic and business cooperation. That is very critical for us,” Ambassador Adeoye stated.

The two countries can share and exchange their respective best practices and global perspective as well, he said.

“The recent state visit by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari to Ethiopia hosted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed proved the path way to consolidating their strategic partnership,” he elaborated.

He added that the two leaders emphasized agriculture and education as the critical part of the economy that has enormous potential to be exploited by the private sector.

The two sides have signed an agreement on defense cooperation that has been long standing, the Ambassador said, and emphasized:

“That focuses on how to promote greater interaction between their defense and security forces. We all have common challenges in counter terrorism and violent extremism in our two regions, for Nigeria Lake Chad and for Ethiopia the Horn of Africa.”