VP Office Reports.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Namadi Sambo has called for increased bilateral ties between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, especially in the economic field as both countries are strategic partners and pillars of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Vice President made this call recently in a dinner organized in his honour by the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Kaplan Duncan in Abidjan.
Namadi Sambo added that although co-operation between the two countries has for sometime been strong, there are still rooms for improvement, particularly in the areas of energy as well as oil and gas. “We should avail ourselves of the enormous potentials in our various spheres for common good and the aspirations of the country’s teeming population. It is for this reason that I consider my visit to your country as another opportunity to use our warm and cordial relations to further improve the wellbeing of our people,” he said.
Sambo expressed satisfaction for the peace process in the host country, urging the Ivorians to remain committed to the peace initiatives of their government and assuring them of Nigeria’s continued support to ensure unity and stability in the country. Adding, Nigeria will continue to support the reconstruction and development of Cote d’Ivoire.
He also said that the Nigerian Government would remain committed to establishing an international highway connecting Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, noting the partnership with the private sector, especially in the area of oil and gas.
“It is gladdening to note that Nigeria’s businessmen are being allocated some oil blocks to explore in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s partnership in the refining sector, the development of the oil & gas infrastructure as well as the partnership of our financial institutions in the economic development of Cote d’Ivoire. I want to assure you that we will continue to partner in all areas needed for the development of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Africa’s problems must be solved by Africans,” he said.
Earlier in his address, the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, Duncan Kaplan expressed gratitude to Nigeria for helping to solve the Ivorian post-electoral crisis and for her initiatives towards restoring peace in the West African-sub-region.
The Prime Minister indicated that the creation of a joint-commission between the two countries last year was a key factor in their common vision of economic trade and diplomatic partnership towards promoting sub-regional integration. According to him, the close relationship between the two countries would spearhead economic recovery in the entire sub-region.
Kaplan Duncan further pointed out that the partnership between the two countries have economic dimensions which are geared towards creating avenues for them to pull resources to address the challenges of development, in order to ensure the well-being of their people, create jobs, improve infrastructure and alleviate poverty.
He affirmed that co-operation between the two countries would fetch mutual benefits for Nigeria as West Africa’s leading economy, Cote D’Ivoire as ECOWAS’ third economy and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)’s first economy.
The Ivorian Prime Minister called on Nigeria’s private sector to join his country in her march to economic development in a “win-win” partnership, adding that the Ivorian Government has organized the International Investment Forum to showcase the potentials of the country to the rest of the world.
Nigeria has remained a key global partner to Cote D’Ivoire accounting for 24% of the country’s imports. Diplomatic relations between the two countries dates back to 1961 with co-operation on defense and other regional security matters growing into economic partnership between them.
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