Buhari signs energy, defence pacts with Turkish leader, Erdogan

…as Turkish leader vows to increase trade with Nigeria from $2-$5bn

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that he signed eight major agreements /Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in Nigeria for a two-day official visit.

The President disclosed that the agreements, whose implementation would commence immediately, touched on key sectors including energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons among others.

He made this disclosure Wednesday at the Presidential Villa at a joint press conference with the Turkish leader.

According to a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari also ordered the lifting of the travel ban on Turkey saying: “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.’’

Erdogan, in his comments, vowed to increase the trade volume between his country and Nigeria from $2 billion to $5 billion annually.

In a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari also heaped praises on the Turkish President for opening his country’s borders to accommodate millions of refugees in dire need of humanitarian support.

According to him, Erdogan has set an example for the rest of the world on how to treat refugees by receiving and accommodating four million refugees fleeing from conflict areas particularly in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Buhari described Erdogan and his wife’s two-day visit to Nigeria as a reflection of the “robust, warm and cordial bilateral relation” between Nigeria and Turkey.

He noted that it was the second time he has had “the pleasure of receiving my Brother in Abuja” adding that the Turkish leader’s meeting with a Joint Session of the 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.

Erdogan, in his remarks, stressed that Turkey was determined to improve relations with Nigeria to “higher levels on all fields”.

He said the trade volume between both countries reached $2 billion in 2020, making Nigeria the outstanding and the 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 $5 billion 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,” Erdogan, who spoke through an interpreter, said.

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

The Turkish President announced that his country had increased its diplomatic presence in Africa to 43 missions, adding that the third round of the Turkish-African business forum would be held in Istanbul this October while the third Turkish-African partnership summit will follow in December.

Erdogan expressed delight that many Nigerian students are currently studying in Turkey and benefiting from scholarships.




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