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Nigeria, Turkey work towards increasing current bilateral trade to $5bn

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Federal Government, alongside Government of Turkey have entered into improved strategic partnership to further boost bilateral trade volume among both countries to $5 billion, saying the move had been considered to strengthen commerce and expand trading between both nations.

As gathered, both nations would be working assiduously and exploits all areas of mutual interest to move bilateral relationship to higher levels on all fields of endeavor, adding that it was important both countries rebuild their economies from shock occasioned by coronavirus.

The Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, said that the trade volume between both countries reached 2 billion dollars in 2020, making Nigeria the outstanding and the biggest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to him, 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 5 billion dollars immediately.

Speaking on Wednesday during a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, the Turkish leader said that ‘‘we hope that the relations between the two nations will be further developed on the basis of a win-win scenario and mutual respect.’’

Furthermore, 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 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.

On his part, Buhari said that the meeting with Erdogan was another opportunity to engage and exchange views on more productive ways of pushing ahead the socio-economic ties between the two countries.

The Nigerian leader 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.

On the accomplishments from the visit, Buhari said, ‘‘During the visit, we held very useful discussions on a number of bilateral issues, aimed at strengthening this cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.

‘‘The key issues we touched on included a Series of Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that had been finalised. As a positive outcome, eight major Agreements/MoUs on a number of the key sectors including Energy, Defense Industry, Mining and HydroCarbons among others were signed today. 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.’’

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