The wide-ranging partnership between Nigeria and Ethiopia has been gaining momentum and vigor as the two countries energize the mechanisms of cooperation, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia said.
Speaking to ENA, Ambassador Bankole Adeoye said the relationship between Ethiopia and Nigeria has borne fresh fruits in culture, federalism, trade and economic cooperation.
According to him, the two nations have robust bilateral relationship which has been advancing into a strong political, commerce and people-to-people linkages.
“Ethiopia and Nigeria have a long-standing relations. Our two countries have cultural affinity and we are trying to develop into an economic support system that would boost trade and investment and cultural exchanges between our two countries,” he said.
Ambassador Adeoye reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to deepen the ongoing friendship for common development with Ethiopia since the two countries share similar political establishment and are Africa’s leading countries demographically.
The ambassador noted that “the two countries have the largest population in the African continent; and we are also ambitious for developing our programs for economic transformation. Also, Nigeria and Ethiopia are both civilian political systems with federal forms of government. We also cherish multi-ethnic and multi-party democracy.”
The two sides have energized their mechanisms of cooperation through Ethio-Nigeria Joint Ministerial Commission which was held after 10 years in December 2017 in Abuja, he further stated.
“Following the meeting last month in Addis Ababa between senior officials and experts from the two countries, the joint ministerial commission also met for joint consultation. The areas of cooperation, particularly in the economic sectors, remain very clear. Trade and investment exchanges, promoting bilateral cooperation, defense cooperation and, of course, our ambitions in industry are very critical areas of mutual interest,” Adeoye pointed out.
Nigeria has a great appreciation for the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ambassador Adeoye said, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is eager to reinforce the comprehensive relationship with Ethiopia.
“That commitment is solid. I can assure you that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is very keen on promoting the broad sisterly relation with Ethiopia. Critical factors we want to push, as I stated, is trade and investment,” he underscored.
Nigerian business mogul and billionaire, Aliko Dangote, is one of the largest businesses in Africa. In Ethiopia, he has half-a-billion USD cement factory.
“As we speak, we are encouraging all Nigerian big and small businesses to invest in Ethiopia, ” the ambassador revealed.
He further stated that Nigeria is looking forward to the opportunities that will come up with the privatization that has been pledged by the Government of Ethiopia.
According to Ambassador Adeoye, “this is very important because we have a very strong community of entrepreneurs, businessmen, investors who are ready to invest in Africa. And I believe that Ethiopia, with its untapped potential, is a large market, and the new economic transformative policies of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will move to the private sector like telecommunications.”