President Bola Tinubu, on Friday in Abuja, called for strengthened cooperation between Nigeria and France to address the prevailing threat of terrorism in the West African subregion
The President stated this when he received the outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a farewell meeting with the Ambassador, President Tinubu commended her dedication to enhancing relations between France and Nigeria even as he urged the Ambassador to leverage her new role as Director for Africa in the French Foreign Ministry to advocate the urgent need to ”upgrade technical cooperation” between Nigeria and France to defeat terrorism terrorism and violent extremism.
”You have been excellent in promoting bilateral relations between both countries in the areas of economy, trade, education, arts, and culture. Thank you for the hard work you have done in Nigeria and for President Macron to appoint you to a new position as Africa Director, it is a testament that you excelled in your assignment in our country.
”You will always be welcomed in Nigeria. On regional security, we want you to remind Paris at every opportunity that it is necessary to upgrade our technical cooperation in our joint efforts to defeat terrorism and counter violent extremism in the region,” he said.
Reflecting on her tour of duty in Nigeria, the outgoing French envoy, Blatmann shared notable achievements, highlighting France’s significant investments and remarkable increase in bilateral trade.
According to her, France is among the top foreign investors in Nigeria, with over $10 billion in investment stock, and with bilateral trade increasing by 51 percent in 2021 and 2022.
”We are also one of the biggest development partners with over 3 billion Euros invested over the last decade by AFD and PROPARCO. AFD now operates in 26 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
”Ever since I arrived here in October 2021, it has been a series of wonderful discoveries and amazing encounters. I will definitely take away with me the energy and creativity of this country that will forever guide me and fuel my afro-optimism,” she said.
Recognizing Nigeria’s pivotal role in regional security and stability, the outgoing ambassador emphasized the close collaboration between France, Nigeria, and other key partners in fostering sustainable international peace, security, and development.