President Goodluck Jonathan Monday in Abuja called on African leaders to take more concrete steps towards fulfilling their often declared commitment to improving trade and economic relations amongst African countries.
Speaking at an audience with the outgoing Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs. Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, President Jonathan said that there was an urgent need for African leaders to move beyond declarations of support for greater intra-African trade and act in unison to overcome obstacles which currently hinder economic relations between the nations and people of the continent.
President Jonathan said that with the right political will and commitment, African leaders could speedily overcome all obstacles to intra-African trade such as poor transportation links and achieve a significant boost in continental economic interaction for the benefit of their countries and peoples.
The President pledged that Nigeria will continue to spearhead and support efforts aimed at promoting regional and continental economic integration, saying that existing cordial political relations between most African countries will be further enhanced by greater trade and economic relations amongst them.
He commended Mrs. Ashipala-Musavyi for working diligently to boost bilateral relations between Nigeria and Namibia during her tenure as High Commissioner in Abuja and wished her success at her new post in the Namibian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Jonathan similarly commended Ghana’s outgoing High Commissioner to Nigeria, Alhaji Baba Kamara whom he also received at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
Noting that bilateral relations between Nigeria and Ghana have been further strengthened in several areas during Alhaji Kamara’s four-year tenure, President expressed the hope that the outgoing High Commissioner’s successor will continue his good work.
“We must continue to build and strengthen the cordial relations between us. We are the same people and colonial boundaries must not be allowed to keep us apart,” President Jonathan told Alhaji Kamara.
According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, of the over 200 projects registered by it last year, Nigeria had 42 projects with a value of almost $200 million U.S. Dollars. Only China accounted for more registered projects in Ghana during the period with 56 projects.