Nigeria-Morocco bilateral agreements to get legal framework

The National Assembly will ensure a legal framework is put in place for the actualisation of the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Morocco, Senate President Bukola Saraki says.

The Senate President gave the assurance when he met  the  President of  the Moroccan House of Councillors, Mr  Abdelhakim Benchamach,  at the weekend in Rabat.

The House of Councillors is the equivalent of the Nigerian Senate.

Saraki also held a similar meeting with the President of Moroccan House of Representatives, Mr  Habib El-Malki.

Saraki, recalled that during the recent state visit by the King of Morocco to Nigeria, several bilateral agreements were signed between the two countries in agriculture, energy and gas and trans-African gas pipeline project.

“Those agreements, particularly the trans-African gas pipeline, if actualised, will be a big victory and catalyst of development not only of the two countries but of the entire African continent.

“As legislators, we have a great role to play in supporting this initiative of our leaders in providing legal framework for the actualisation of those agreements,’’  he said.

Agreement Implementation

The Senate President noted that the National Assembly had resolved to give such legislation the required urgency for immediate take off and implementation of agreements that would benefit the nation’s economy and strengthen co-operation with other African nations.

“The foundation for strengthening the historical relationship between the two countries has been laid by the two leaders, and it is now our responsibility as lawmakers to begin the process of building it for the benefit of our people and Africa in general.

“It is good to note that both President Muhammadu Buhari and King Muhammad VI have developed a close relationship which is a new chapter in the history of our countries, and it is our duty to support them to achieve the desired result,” he said.

Saraki further stressed the need to create a Nigeria-Morocco legislative forum to address areas of common interest to the two countries.

In the same vein, El-Malki said that the King of Morocco had already set up a committee to oversee the implementation of the bilateral agreements because of the importance attached them.

He also called  for Nigeria’s support for Morocco’s application for membership of  the Pan African Parliament.

According to  El-Malki, Nigeria had for long  been a pillar of support to Morocco in international organisations.

Economic Challenges

Speaking earlier, Benchamach said Morocco recognised and appreciated Nigeria’s leading role in addressing the challenges facing Africa’s development.

He expressed the determination of Morocco to partner with other African countries to address the continent’s economic challenges.

“During the cold war,  Africa paid a high cost and now it is time to make our voice heard and demand for our rights,” he said.

PR/NAN/Nnenna.O