President Bola Tinubu has assured foreign ambassadors in Nigeria that his administration is ready to maintain open lines of communication and cooperation, with a focus on advancing mutually beneficial economic opportunities across sectors.
The President gave the assurance while receiving the Letters of Credence of the Ambassador of Angola to Nigeria, Mr. Jose Bamoquine Zau; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Nigeria, Mr. Pieter Leenknegt; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, Mr. Sevin Baera, and the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Nigeria, Mr. Albert Castelar.
In separate meetings with the Ambassadors, the President emphasized the importance of strong diplomatic relations and expressed his willingness to engage with the foreign missions.
He told the Ambassadors that the Foreign Ministry and the Office of his Chief of Staff would always be available to interact with the foreign missions and address any matter of concern.
“We will maintain an open-door policy. We are ready to do anything that will make your stay rewarding and our relationship strong. Do not hesitate to bring up any matter with the Foreign Minister or my Chief of Staff; they will bring it to my attention,” the President said, while wishing the ambassadors the best in their duty tours.
During his meeting with the Angolan Ambassador, President Tinubu congratulated President Joao Lourenco of Angola on his re-election and referred to him “as a very good friend.”
Receiving the Belgian Ambassador, President Tinubu acknowledged the active participation of Belgian companies in Nigeria’s maritime industry and expressed the need to strengthen political and economic cooperation, particularly in the maritime and energy sectors.
The President also exchanged views with the Ambassador on the potential dredging of Calabar port to make it more viable for revenue generation.
In his discussions with the Norwegian Ambassador, President Tinubu articulated his energy transition vision for Nigeria, stating that the transition from petroleum to gas to hydrogen is a priority for his administration.
He called on Norway and other EU-member countries to support the economic reform programmes of his administration, particularly in the areas of food security, preservation, and other key agro-allied investments.
‘‘You are a valuable partner, and we need your support. We have the population in Nigeria, and one out of every five black persons is a Nigerian. We must stimulate our economy. If Nigeria succeeds, Africa succeeds. This government is promoting a lot of reforms, and it is committed to improving the ease of doing business,’’ the President said.
The Angolan Ambassador expressed gratitude to Nigeria for its role in liberating his country from colonial rule and expressed his commitment to building sustainable partnerships between the two nations.
“I have four years to stay in the country, and I have the mandate of my President to build bridges between our countries. I am here to work to build a sustainable partnership,’’ he said.
Ambassador Pieter Leenknegt of Belgium discussed the commercial linkages that bind the port of Antwerp with ports in Lagos and Onitsha, while he expressed interest in expanding their presence to the Calabar port.
He also called for enhanced ministerial engagements between the two countries, noting the interest of Belgian companies in Nigeria’s renewable energy sector.
Ambassador Baera of Norway congratulated President Tinubu on the recent affirmation of his election by the Supreme Court.
‘‘The bold steps you have taken on economic reforms since your assumption of office have been well received by Norwegian firms,’’ he said.
Stressing the need to strengthen business partnerships between the two nations, the Ambassador noted that there was great interest of Norwegian firms in Nigeria’s agriculture and energy sectors, highlighting recent investments in Nigeria’s growing cocoa and solar panel industry.
The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Nigeria called for the establishment of direct flights between Nigeria and Venezuela, even as he expressed his country’s desire to deepen economic partnerships between the two oil-producing nations across multiple sectors, in terms of trade and investment.
Chief Ajuri Ngelale
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 31, 2023