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Nigeria’s consul advocates strategic engagement with S/Africa



Nigeria’s consul advocates strategic engagement with S/Africa

By Fortune Abang

Mr. Abdul-Malik Ahmed, Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, stressed the need for strategic engagement to strengthen diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa.

Ahmed said this on Sunday when addressing the Nigerian community in an effort to assess their activities in the country.

The consul general, who took office in November 2020, praised the Nigeria-South Africa diplomatic relations, while observing that they had been cordial between the two economic giants of the African continent.

According to him, since 1995, the two countries have jointly played a key role in the achievement of the African renaissance and the liberation of the continent from neo-colonialism.

“A testament to the relations between the two countries is the presence of more than 120 South African multinational companies in Nigeria and a significant number of Nigerians in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.

“The contributions of Nigerian professionals in various fields to the social and economic life of South Africa are also significant and South Africa is currently among the top 10 investors in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is South Africa’s 10th largest export market in Africa and 32nd globally, accounting for 64 percent of South Africa’s trade with West Africa.

“Nigeria is also one of its top three sources of crude oil, while the economic relationship is a win-win situation for both economies, the balance of trade is actually in South Africa’s favor.

“It is therefore imperative that measures be taken to consolidate diplomatic relations between the two countries and to nip in the bud, any irritant to this partnership,” said Ahmed.

He expressed hope in the African Continental Free Trade Area providing tariff-free access to a market of over 1.3 billion people and providing a platform to further deepen economic relations between Nigeria and the ‘South Africa.

The envoy pledged to put in place measures, not only to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries, but also to tackle issues related to the welfare of the Nigerian community in South Africa.

He revealed that a joint advisory committee, comprising the Mission, the police and the Nigerian community, had been set up to follow up on the creation of an early warning system to prevent xenophobic attacks.

In his remarks, Mr. Benjamin Okoli, General President of the Association of Nigerian Citizens in South Africa (NICASA), expressed his appreciation for the initiative, saying it was able to tackle issues affecting the well-being of Nigerians.

He called the outreach meeting with the Consul General necessary in light of recent developments intended by the sponsors to distort the facts and push an ugly narrative that would bring discredit on our Consulate and the Consul General.

“This awareness campaign has become absolutely necessary for us to sit together under one roof to hear the facts of the Consul General’s case.

“We are concerned about the allegations, personal attacks, abuse and painful comments directed at the Consul General and the office he represents.

“NICASA felt that it was very important to clarify some issues as they related to the above situation, which in our opinion is unwarranted, unfounded and unfounded,” Okoli said.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the Nigerian community in South Africa has 70,000 members, under the auspices of several myriad organizations, including the Nigerian Doctors Forum, the Nigerian Citizens Association, as well as the Association of Nigerian Nurses. .

Others include the Nigerian Muslim Jammah, Nze Na Ozo, the Niger Delta Association, the Nigerian Union of Travel and Immigration Practitioners, Nigerian Lives Matter, Akwa Ibom Indigenes and the Nigerian Women’s Association. .

In addition, there is also the National Association of Nigerian Students, the Association of Yoruba of the Diaspora, the Association of Nigerian Pastors, the Nigerian Christian Association and the Asalatu Nobiyu Muslim community. (NAA)


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