Sambo advocates strong mechanism for bilateral agreements

Namadi-Sambo- 600Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has reiterated the need for a strong mechanism that would ensure the proper implementation of bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Cote-d’Ivoire in the interest of the citizens of the two countries.
The vice president made this remark today at a meeting with the prime minister of Cote D’Ivoire Kaplan Duncan at his Plateau office in Abidjan capital of the cocoa nation.
Arc Sambo stated that, implementation of similar bilateral agreements entered into in the past were hampered by the absence of a strong mechanism and urged all parties to these Agreements to make concrete effort for the two countries to have an enduring platform that would set the momentum for the implementation of all bilateral agreements
The vice president further stated that the Invest in Cote D’ Ivoire (ICI) Forum organized by the Cote D’Ivoire government would open a window of opportunities for Nigerian investors to explore the abundant opportunities for investments in the country as over 70 Nigerian businessmen are participating in the conference. He however stressed the need for the establishment of necessary framework in the different sectors of the economy that would attract investments into the host country.
Arc Sambo relates the Nigerian example of the cement industry where the Nigerian government established a strong framework to attract investment into the sector. Before 2010, Nigeria imports about 90% of her cement requirements and within two years from the establishment of the backward integration policy framework, the country became a Net exporter of the product. He added that similar framework had been established to stop the importation of sugar and rice into the country. He stated that already this framework had been yielding the desired results as currently Nigeria produces about 1million metric tonnes of rice per annum, which is expected to double before the end of the year and planned to stop the importation of the commodity by the end of 2015.
Speaking earlier, the Prime Minister of Cote-Divoire Kaplan Duncan called for the implementation of all bilateral agreements entered into by the two countries. He also called for the strengthening relationship in the fields of mining petroleum upstream and downstream sector and the highways.
Crucial bilateral issues were discussed at the meeting amongst which were bilateral air agreement, Oil and Gas, mining and highways.
The Vice President was expected to meet with the President of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire His Excellency Alassane Dramane Outtara, and members of the Nigerian community in the country tomorrow
Arc Sambo would also address the opening session the forum organized by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire with the theme: “Invest in Cote-D’Ivoire – 2014” holding on 29th of this month in the nation’s Capital Abidjan at the invitation of the country’s Prime Minister Daniel Kabalan Duncan before returning back to Nigeria.
Nigeria and Cote-D’Ivoire have enjoyed cordial relations at the political and socio-economic fronts with high level visits by leaders of both countries. Both countries are members of the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) and the latter is the main artery for most of the trade between Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries and an important market for Nigeria’s business interest. Most Made-in-Nigeria goods made their way to other West African countries via Cote-D’Ivoire. Over the years, Nigeria has recorded surplus balance of trade with Cote-D’Ivoire and there are over 2 million Nigerian residents in Cote D’Ivoire.
The two countries have established a Bi-national commission which was signed on March 2013 during the Nigeria’s President’s visit to Cote-D’Ivoire to forge closer cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which include cultural, education and scientific cooperation; Tourism; Bilateral Trade cooperation, cooperation on fight against crime; and industrial cooperation amongst others. The commission was to be co-chaired by the Cote-D’Ivoire Prime Minister and the Nigeria’s vice President. The First bi-national commission was held in Abuja, Nigeria in August 2013 and co-chaired by the prime Minister of Cote-D’Ivoire His Excellency Daniel Kaplan where agreements/Memorandum Of Understandings (MOUs) were signed on areas of mutual cooperation and interest.

..Calls for increased bilateral ties between Nigeria ,Cote D’ivoire

Vice president Arc Namadi Sambo has called for increased bilateral ties between Nigeria and the Cote d’Ivoire especially in the economic field as both countries are strategic partners and pillars of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The vice president made this call today at a dinner organized in his honour by the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire Kablan Duncan in Abidjan the Ivorian capital

Arc Sambo added that although cooperation between the two countries had been strong, there still remained a room for improvement particularly in the areas of energy, Oil and Gas stating “We should avail ourselves of the enormous potentials in our various spheres for the common goods and aspirations of our teeming population. It is for this reason that I
consider my visit to your country as another opportunity to use our warm and cordial relations to further improve the wellbeing of our people.”

The vice president also expressed his satisfaction on the peace process in the host country urging the Ivorians to remain committed to the peace initiative of their government assuring them of Nigeria’s continued support in ensuring the unity, and stability of the country. adding that “Nigeria will continue to support the reconstruction and development of Cote
d’Ivoire.” .

Arc Sambo also said that the Federal Government of Nigeria would remain committed to ensuring the realization of the international highway that would connect Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire and noted the partnership with the private sector especially in the area of Oil and Gas. “It is gladdening to note that Nigeria’s businessmen are being allocated some Oil Blocks to explore in Cote d’Ivoire and also noted our partnership in the refining sector and the development of the Oil & Gas infrastructure as well as the partnership of our financial institutions in the economic development of Cote d’Ivoire. I want to assure you that we will continue to partner in all areas needed for the development of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Africa’s problems must be solved by Africans.” He said

Earlier in his address, the Prime Minister of the host country Duncan Kablan expressed his gratitude to Nigeria for helping solve the Ivorian post-electoral crisis and for her initiatives towards the restoration of peace in the West African-sub-region.

The prime minister also stated that the creation of a joint-commission between the two countries last year was a key factor to their common vision of economic trade and diplomatic partnership that would promote sub-regional integration, and that the close relationship between the two countries would spearhead economic recovery in the entire sub-region.

Kablan Duncan also added that partnership between the two countries have an economic dimensions. “In this context, this partnership must allow us to pull our efforts to address the challenge of development in order to ensure the well-being of our people, particularly in terms of job creation, infrastructure and poverty alleviation.” He stated.

Furthermore, the prime minister expressed the belief that cooperation between the two

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