• Friday, June 21, 2024
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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia sign MoU for bilateral cooperation

Nigeria, Saudi agree to collaborate on defence, human trafficking

Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to sign a long-delayed Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) at the end of the 3-day 2nd Session of the Joint Commission meeting held in Abuja.

The First Session on October 20, 2003, was hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Several MoUs and Agreements covering various aspects of bilateral cooperation were signed to promote mutually beneficial cooperation for both parties which birthed the establishment of the Nigeria-Saudi Joint Commission.

In his welcome address, Zubairu Dada, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, assured the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that Nigeria is committed to the objective and that the two countries’ collective endeavours would positively impact Nigeria-Saudi relations to raise them to a strategic level.

The Minister of State who gave the assurance at the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia 2nd Session of Joint Commission on Monday explained that the 2nd Session which was supposed to have been held two years later in Nigeria could not take place until now due to several reasons, including the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, Nigeria hosting the Joint Commission attaches great importance to her relations with the Kingdom to demonstrate her strong and unwavering commitment to further boost and elevate the existing historical ties binding the two countries to a new height.

He reiterated Nigeria’s determination to ensure that these relations are transformed into a win-win partnership, maintaining Nigeria’s full commitment to cooperate with Saudi throughout the meeting to ensure that the 2nd Session of the Joint Commission is successful.

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Zubairu called on the senior officials and experts of both Countries to adopt a spirit of cooperation and flexibility while proceeding with the important task of negotiating various MoUs/Agreements, to conclude and sign.

“I firmly believe that the two countries and people are eager for the Session to produce the desired positive outcome which will bring a new era in Nigeria-Saudi cooperation as they also create the necessary mechanism for the implementation of these agreed frameworks with minimum delay,” he said.

In his speech, Ahmad Al-Khamshi, the Saudi-Arabian Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, and Agriculture mentioned that the meeting represents a practical approach in the path set for enhancing cooperation between both countries, as there are many promising opportunities for cooperation in several fields, including trade, investment and technology.

Al-Khamshi opined that Saudi places great importance on the General Agreement on Cooperation signed between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria in 2003 and the meetings of the Saudi-Nigerian Joint Committee, which constitutes the effective tool in implementing the agreement and laying the specific foundations for enhancing economic, commercial, investment, scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries.

He stressed that among these opportunities include the G20 Financing for Sustainable Development Initiative which was launched by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during its G20 presidency and is working on the matter in both countries.

“Emphasis must be given to activate the work of both the agreement and the joint committee through the development of effective mechanisms and programs to implement what emanates from the meetings of this Committee and to continuously review and follow-up through dialogue, consultation and communication between the competent authorities in both countries to implement it, as well as removing obstacles and to learn lessons to develop cooperation in the interest of both countries.

“I also highlight the great importance of the role of the private sector in implementing economic cooperation projects related to trade and investment exchange.

“For this reason, we give priority to the leading participation of the private sector in both countries. We hope that this sector will have the appropriate and stimulating atmosphere for its effective participation in translating the available economic opportunities into practical projects of benefit to our two countries”, he said.

Al-Khamshi, therefore, expressed hope that they will reach the required recommendations in developing and deepening relations in various fields, especially economic cooperation and trade exchange between the two countries for the benefit of all.