Nigeria, Turkey sign eight pacts on energy, mining, others

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Nigeria and Turkey have signed a series of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding on a number of key sectors of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons among others

This was the outcome of the two-day official visit of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari at a joint press conference yesterday said: “The key issues we touched on included a series of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding that had been finalized.

‘‘As a positive outcome, eight major agreements/MoUs on a number of the key sectors including energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons among others, were signed. We have agreed that implementation is to commence immediately.

‘‘In the course of our discussions, we also reviewed the travel ban list based on the revised COVID-19 protocols and removed Turkey from Nigeria’s travel ban list. Turkey has indeed achieved remarkable success in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.’’

President Buhari hailed President Erdogan for opening his country’s borders to accommodate millions of refugees in dire need of humanitarian support.

‘‘I commend Your Excellency for your leadership and generosity in receiving and accommodating four million refugees fleeing from conflict areas particularly in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. You have indeed set an example to the rest of the world,’’ he said.

President Buhari described the two-day visit of President Erdogan and the First Lady, Emine Erdogan, as a reflection of the ‘‘robust, warm and cordial bilateral relation’’ between Nigeria and Turkey.

Buhari said Erdogan’s meeting with a Joint Session of Nigeria and Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry, before departing Nigeria, would be another opportunity to engage and exchange views on more productive ways of pushing ahead the socio-economic ties between the two countries.

He thanked the Turkish president and the first lady for commissioning the Turkish Cultural Centre in Abuja as well as opening the newly renovated Government Secondary School in Wuse, Abuja, undertaken by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIIKA).

In his remarks, President Erdogan stressed that Turkey is determined to improve relations with Nigeria to ‘‘higher levels on all fields’’.

He said the trade volume between both countries reached $2billion in 2020, making Nigeria the outstanding and biggest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

‘‘However, we still believe that this level of trade we have achieved is far from being adequate. We hope and pray that we will be expanding our trade volume up to five billion dollars immediately.

‘‘We hope that the relations between the two nations will be further developed on the basis of a win-win scenario and mutual respect,’’ the president, who spoke through an interpreter said.

The Turkish leader, while condoling with Nigeria on the attack in Goronyo Local Government Area of Sokoto State, which claimed several lives, pledged that his country would further cooperate with Nigeria on counter-terrorism as well as in the fields of military, defence and security.

‘‘We are ready to share our ever-expanding capabilities with Nigeria, especially in the field of the defence industry and security, which has been praised by the entire globe.

‘‘This sensitivity that we have showcased in fighting terrorism, I hope will be reciprocated by our Nigerian brothers, sisters and counterparts,’’ he said.