Sambo:Nigeria,South Africa, strategic partners ..vows to protect Nigerians
Vice President Sambo stated this Wednesday, during a media briefing session with his South African counterpart, Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe on the outcome of the 8th Session of the Nigeria/South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC), which held at the Good Hope Chamber, State House, Cape Town.
The Vice President said “the Bi-National Commission between Nigeria and South Africa has gone to the next level as a result of this meeting. We have agreed that the Problems of Africa’s development and addressing poverty can only be solved by Africans themselves and it is well known that this two sister countries, Nigeria and South Africa can lead the achievement of banishing poverty from Africa.”
He used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of Nigeria to ensure the implementation of the agreements reached to the letter, saying “we strongly believe that we will achieve our objective of putting concrete actions that will create wealth and banish poverty in both our countries and Africa in general.”
Similarly, VP Sambo stated that the Bi-National Commission would facilitate economic growth between the two countries, while, also affirming Nigeria’s determination to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. He emphasised that the relations between the two countries was very cordial, adding that Nigeria was ever ready to support South Africa and her citizens in any forum.
Speaking further, Vice President Sambo, assured that Nigeria was doing everything necessary to arrest the infrastructural deficit in the country, with considerable investment in power, transport, and the agricultural sectors, among others. He also assured that the security of lives, property and investments of both Nigerians and her visitors are paramount and would be adequately protected.
Earlier during the Opening Remarks at the Plenary Session of the BNC, Vice President Sambo urged the South African Government to remove any regulatory impediments clogging Nigerian businesses and investors from participating in the South African economy.
VP Sambo while noting that Nigeria remains the gateway for South African businesses in the West African sub-region stressed the need for increased trade and investment between the two countries, which according to him would provide “the necessary tonic that can fuel the long-term growth of the continent.”
In his remarks, the Deputy President of South Africa, Mr. Motlanthe, said that the discussion during the Bi National Commission was fruitful, adding that it focused on the need to ensure implementation of agreements.
Speaking during the plenary he lamented the state of the relationship between the two countries which he said did not reflect their historical ties, adding that the BNC should form the pedestal for greater ties between the two continental powers.
Vice President Sambo and his South African Counterpart, signed the Implementation Plan on the existing bilateral agreements and matters arising from the Bi-National Commission.
Other agreements signed included; Agreement regarding Mutual Assistance and Customs Administration; and Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation.
A communiqués was issued at the end of the meeting. The last session of the BNC, which was the seventh in the series was held from 21-23 May, 2008, in Abuja Nigeria. The next session would hold in Nigeria.
Present at the event were the governors of Rives state, Rotimi Amaechi and Kebbi State Saidu Dakingari, Ministers of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, Defence, Haliru Mohammed, Mines and Steel, Musa Sada, and Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru as well as government officials from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA).
Also,Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo has assured that the Federal Government will do all in its powers to protect Nigerians anywhere in the world.
Speaking at an interactive session on Tuesday, with the Nigerian Community in Cape Town, South Africa, Vice President Sambo said “You are our ambassadors, we expect a lot from you. Nigeria will go to any length to protect good Nigerians you therefore, have the responsibility to ensure that you are good Nigerian ambassadors in South Africa.”
He used the occasion to implore Nigerians in South Africa and other parts of the world to look inwards and explore the various investment opportunities that abound in Nigeria, especially in the power, agriculture, solid minerals, tourism and transport sectors, so as to facilitate the speedy achievement of the Transformation Agenda.
Vice President Sambo at the event commended the efforts of the Nigerian Security Agencies in tackling the security challenges in the country, while also lauding their ability to quickly learn the ropes of tackling terrorism, which he noted was new to Nigeria.
Speaking further, the Vice President stated that government was working hard to put in place the necessary infrastructure that would attract investment needed for the development of the country noting that Nigeria currently imports goods worth over N500billion from South Africa.
Arc Sambo who is in South Africa for the 8th Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission meeting added that the Federal Government as part of its efforts to address infrastructural deficit, was constructing new thermal and hydropower power plants, revitalising the comatose railway system, reorganising the agricultural sector and also upgrading healthcare facilities, adding that government was making efforts to ensure cheap and accessible financing for the private sector to thrive.
Responding to questions on the possibility of the diaspora voting in the 2015 general elections, Arc Sambo stated that government was working with the National Assembly to ensure that it was achieved.
Earlier the President of the Nigerian Union Western Cape, Azu Okpoaraugo commended the matured way the Federal Government handled the diplomatic row between the two countries. He stated that there were about 15,000 Nigerians living in Cape Town, contributing positively to the formal and informal sectors of the province.
Joint Communiqué issued at the end of the 8th Session of the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission held in Cape Town, 22-23 May 2012
23 May 2012
1. At the invitation of the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, ARC. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, visited South Africa from 22 to 23 May 2012 to attend the 8th Session of the South Africa – Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC).
2. His Excellency, Vice President Sambo was accompanied by a high – level delegation comprising State Governors, Ministers, and Senior Government Officials.
3. During the visit, which was aimed at further strengthening the ties of friendship and cooperation that exist between South Africa and Nigeria, the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held substantive and fruitful discussions on a wide range of issues of common interest across the bilateral, regional and international spectrum.
4. Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice President Sambo expressed appreciation for the excellent ties of friendship and cooperation which exist between their two countries and their two peoples and reaffirmed their desire to further deepen them.
5. In this regard, the Deputy President of South Africa and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reviewed the work and progress of their bilateral cooperation since the 7th session of South Africa – Nigeria Bi-National Commission (BNC), which was held from 21-23 May 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria.
6. Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice President Sambo were apprised of the deliberations of the Special Implementation Committee of the BNC, which met on 21 and 22 May 2012. The meeting of the Special Implementation Committee agreed on a range of issues that reflect the decisions taken by the seven Working Groups of the Bi-National Commission. The objective of the Working Groups was to enhance cooperation and agree on time-frames for implementing action plans, as well as to review matters of mutual concern. The Working Groups are the following:
(i) Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Working Group;
(ii) Trade, Industry and Finance Working Group;
(iii) Defence and Security Working Group;
(iv) Agriculture, Water Resources and Environment Working Group
(v) Minerals and Energy Working Group
(vi) Public Enterprises and Infrastructure Working Group
(vii) Social and Technical Working Group
7. Furthermore, an Agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding, as well as an Implementation Plan were signed on 23 May 2012 at the conclusion of the BNC.
· Agreement regarding Mutual Assistance and Customs Administration;
· Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation;
· Implementation Plan on the existing bilateral agreements and matters arising from the Bi-National Commission.
8. Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice President Sambo have agreed on the Implementation Plan which is aimed at ensuring that there is a strict time-frame with regards to the execution and implementation of the commitments and decisions taken during the BNC.
9. Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice President Sambo expressed the need for strengthening the African Union and sub-regional organisations in Africa with a view to promoting peace, security, stability, democracy and sustainable development.
10. To this end, they strongly urged the international community to support the untiring efforts of the AU in settling the socio-political crises in the continent whenever they arise.
11. On issues in the international arena, Deputy President Motlanthe and Vice President Sambo reaffirmed the necessity to introduce, without further delay, reforms within the United Nations System, particularly with regard to the Security Council.
12. They called for the establishment of a new World Economic Order which would take into account the interests of the poor countries in order to narrow the ever-growing gap between the poor and the rich.
13. His Excellency Vice President Sambo took the opportunity to invite His Excellency Mr Motlanthe to pay a reciprocal visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The invitation was accepted with pleasure and the date will be jointly agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.