By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Government and Turkey on Wednesday signed eight Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on a number of the key sectors, including Energy, Hydrocarbons, Defence and Mining.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the disclosure at a joint press conference on the occasion of the official visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Nigeria.
A statement issued subsequently by Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, noted that “key issues we touched on included a Series of Bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that had been finalised”.
The statement quoted the president as saying that “During the visit, we held very useful discussions on a number of bilateral issues, aimed at strengthening this cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.
“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”.
President Buhari further lauded Erdogan for opening his country’s borders to accommodate millions of refugees in dire need of humanitarian support, affirming that he has set an example to the rest of the world on how to treat refugees.
Responding, President Erdogan stressed that Turkey was determined to improve relations with Nigeria to ‘higher levels on all fields’, adding that the trade volume between both countries reached $2 billion in 2020, making Nigeria the outstanding and the biggest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa.
“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,’ the Turkish president, said through an interpreter,” he added.
He further pledged Turkey’s resolve to 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,” President Erdogan said.