Nigeria, Indonesia to establish joint venture on small arms

Adoba Echono, Abuja

Nigeria and Indonesia have agreed to establish a joint venture company on small armaments in Nigeria.

The two countries announced this in a joint communiqué at the end bilateral meeting between the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mrs Retno Marsudi in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mrs. Retno Marsudi paid an official working visit to Nigeria from 3-5 June, 2017 to attend the 4th Nigeria-Indonesia Business Forum and hold bilateral discussions with the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama.

The two countries at the end of the bilateral talks also agreed on the establishment of a facility to assemble components of the Indonesian Aerospace aircraft in Nigeria.

Part of the agreement is the completion of the purchase of military equipment, airplanes, and hangar facilities by the Nigerian National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Both countries also pledged to work together to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector in both upstream and downstream industries between state-owned companies of the two countries. 

Considering the significant amount of oil and gas transaction through third countries, the Ministers agreed to consider Indonesia’s request for direct oil trade on a Government-to Government basis, in accordance with the enabling laws of both countries.

An agreement was also reached on enhancing cooperation on the development of the palm oil industry, namely through the participation of Nigeria in the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries.

The Ministers affirmed that people-to-people contact provides a more solid foundation for strengthening and deepening of mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.

In line with this, they both agreed to encourage increased flow of scholars, students, mass media and youth exchange programmes between the two countries.

Indonesia also appreciated Nigeria for securing its reciprocal support for Indonesia’s candidacy to become a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for the period of 2019 -2020.

Business relations

Both countries agreed that the 4th Nigeria-Indonesia Business Forum that was successfully held in Lagos on 3 June, should be held regularly in order to strengthen networking between relevant stakeholders and Nigerian and Indonesian business communities

While focusing on economic cooperation, both sides expressed readiness and commitment to expand cooperation in various fields and promote the growth of the partnership between the two countries in line with the principles of mutual benefit, mutual respect and mutual interests.

The Ministers as part of bilateral talks reviewed the state of relations between the two countries and committed to further strengthen the relations especially trade and investments.

As part of the agreements reached, it agreed that in addition to the exchange of visits between Presidents of the two countries, the exchange of visits by high ranking officials of both countries should also be intensified.

Nigeria and Indonesia also expressed readiness to promote international peace and security, democracy as well as progress for all.

The ministers welcomed the initiative of Indonesia to host Indonesia-Africa Forum in Indonesia in 2018 to enhance private sectors engagement between the two countries.

Agreement was also reached for the two countries to deepen contacts between their respective National Chambers of Commerce and private sector operators with a view to further enhance bilateral trade and investments.

Tariff reduction and non-tariff barriers relaxation through the establishment of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Nigeria and Indonesia was also part of the areas of agreement.

The two Ministers of Trade agreed to meet in July 2017 for further discussion on establishing PTA between Indonesia and Nigeria.

Simplifying bilateral trade Nigeria will through the establishment of a Bonded Logistic Centre in one of Nigeria’s ports, that can be used for Indonesian products.

They applauded the visit of the Head of the Nigerian Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to Indonesia in April 2017 which the two said will encouraged the effective implementation of the Action Plan on Converting Narcotics and Drug Trafficking signed in 2013 to serve as a preventive measure in combating drug trafficking and abuse.

On Consular issues, Nigeria recognized the drugs emergency situation in Indonesia and appealed to Indonesia to commute death penalty to life imprisonment.

It was agreed that the next session of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria would be held at a mutually convenient time and venue.

Nigeria and Indonesia have had a steady growth of friendly relations and cooperation between them in the last 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1965.