Nigeria Seeks Greater Ties With Sweden

Namadi-Sambo- 600Nigeria has called for increased bilateral ties with Sweden for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo made this call when he received a Ministerial delegation from Sweden, led by the country’s Minister of International Development Cooperation, Mrs. Gunilla Carlson, today on courtesy call in his office at the State House, Abuja.

The Vice President said “we assure you that we deeply appreciate our relations, we are looking forward to increasing our economic cooperation. “

Vice President Sambo, however, observed that the trade value of the two countries was below expectation, urging that the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011 between the two countries be revived, to allow faster growth of the economies of the two counties.

Arc Sambo called on Sweden to tap into the huge potentials in the power, agriculture,
railways, waterways, ports, education, healthcare services, manpower development, finance and other sectors of Nigeria’s economy, with huge returns on investment.

He also used the opportunity to implore Sweden to fast-track on the development of
Nigeria’s small and medium hydro-power plants, which he said would open up more economic corridors for wealth and job creation, emphasising that Nigeria has over 200 existing dams.

Vice President Sambo reiterated government’s commitment to providing the enabling
Environment for businesses to thrive, stressing that the President Jonathan administration was reforming all sectors of Nigeria’s economy to allow for partnership with the private sector saying “we have an open policy, we are addressing the issue
of security to ensure the safety of our nationals and also our friends and investors in the country.”

The spokesperson of the delegation and the Minister of Finance of Sweden, Mr. Anders Borg, in his remarks stated that they were in the country to enhance greater economic ties based on cooperation, mutual understanding and beneficial investment, adding that Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with a strong demographic push and investment opportunities.

Earlier the representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Kabir Garba, stated that the relationship between Nigeria and Sweden had been “traditionally cordial
and very strong”. He noted the trade imbalance between the two countries, stating that exports from Nigeria in 2011 amounted to about $26 million dollars only, a huge drop from that of 2010, which was $88 million. He further said that imports from Sweden to
Nigeria had steadily increased over the years reaching $825 million in 2011.

Present at the event were the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Svante Kilandex, and top Nigerian government officials.

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