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AfCFTA: Nigeria, Canada renew commitment to improve bilateral ties

Adoba Echono

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The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has called for a stronger diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Canada in the area of trade, infrastructure, security, health and energy.

The Minister who made this known while paying a working visit to Canada where he engaged with various critical stakeholders in furtherance of Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with Canada said the call was as a result of the ongoing implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

The Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy to the Minister, Alkasim Abdulkadir in a statement disclosed that Tuggar at a meeting with the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, noted that Nigeria is Canada’s largest trade partner in Africa.

He called on both countries to strengthen its trade ties, given the ongoing implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, also pledged Canada’s commitment to supporting socioeconomic development in Nigeria and the wider region for mutual benefit.

The statement noted that both countries resolved to take steps to finalise the outstanding Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs), including the bilateral Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPPA) ahead of the Canadian Trade Mission to Nigeria in June 2024.

The Ministers who also discussed regional security in Africa, lauded Nigeria’s leadership role in the region and offered Canada’s support in strengthening stability and democracy in West Africa.

The two countries further agreed to work together on a range of regional and global issues, ranging from seeking peaceful resolutions to conflicts to multilateral reform and countering disinformation.

The bilateral engagement represents a significant step forward in the already robust relations between Nigeria and Canada.

In a related development, Ambassador, Yusuf Tuggar also met with the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association (CAAF) to discuss Canada-Nigeria relations, and regional African issues, using the opportunity to explain the 4-D foreign of Nigerian policy thrust and ongoing developments in Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the implementation of the AfCFTA.

The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs also met with the Parliamentary Secretary, Robert Oliphant, where he explored avenues for enhanced partnership on multilateral reform, African security, education, healthcare, trade, and investment, especially the mining, metals refining, energy, and digital economy sector.

Mr. Oliphant expressed deep appreciation for the visit, stating that it demonstrates the robust relations between the two countries.

Tuggar also had an engagement with the senior leadership of Carleton University as he took a tour of its facilities, including the technology and innovation hub, as well as the Institute for African Affairs.

Carleton University has several partnerships with Nigerian universities and is an example of the strong educational cooperation between Nigeria and Canada.

He then paid a visit to the President of the Business Council of Canada (BCC), Goldy Hyder, where they discussed opportunities for enhanced trade and investment, particularly in renewable energy and infrastructure.

The Business Council of Canada is exploring the possibility of visiting Nigeria later this year to follow up on the productive engagement.

The Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded his diplomatic tour of Canada with a visit to the Canadian Parliamentary Secretary on Export Promotion, International Trade, and Economic Development, Maninder Sidhu, where discussion to expand the bilateral trade relationship between the two countries was made.

He however, highlighted the linkages between democracy, stability, and sustainable growth, given the emergence of the AfCFTA.

 

 

 

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