Nigeria, Spain to deepen bilateral relations

Nigeria and Spain on Monday agreed to put in place measures to deepen the bilateral relations between them; even as Nigeria called for more  support from Spain in diversification of its economy.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olushola Enikanolaye,speaking  in Abuja at the end of a bilateral meeting between the two countries said the political consultation between both countries covered a wide range of issues from political to economic with security relations and migration including a review of situation in the sub- region.

“On trade and economic matters, we agreed that Spain has been a regular buyer of our oil and gas and there will be need to diversify to other sectors.

“These include agriculture for food security, equipment, agro-allied and irrigation among others and our guest agreed that discussions are already ongoing with the state governors.

“We agreed that we are going to do more for this to happen, we also discussed the possibility of signing agreement on avoiding double taxation,” he said.

According to him, this is important as a framework for economic relations, based on the already concluded agreement signed between the two countries.

Enikanolaye said both countries reviewed the ongoing campaign against Boko Haram, and Spain commended Nigeria for successes recorded on countering the insurgency.

He said Nigeria looked forward to more assistance in the area of humanitarian support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and  in the area of reconstruction and development adding  that the two sides expressed satisfactions with the implementation of migration agreement between the two countries.

“It is agreed that the right of migrants are respected and that they are returned after the local remedies have been exhausted.

“On the political relations, we agree that our relations are excellent, the two sides agree that there are no irritant relations between Nigeria and Spain.

“We also agree to look at other mechanisms on bilateral political relations between us including the possibility of establishing a bi- national commission,” he said

Responding, the Secretary to State, Foreign Affairs Spain, Ildefonson Castro, said the relationship between the two countries would be improved.

“We agree to improve our  political, economical and trade relations, we strongly advocate for the support of Spanish investment in Nigeria which is important, ” the secretary said.

He expressed pleasure on the need to tackle the challenge of double taxation.

Castro commended the role of Nigeria and ECOWAS on the resolution of political crisis in the Gambia, Mali and others.

The secretary   also stated  that President Muhammadu Buhari had been invited to Spain, adding that Spain was looking forward to receiving him.