From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
The federal government and the Republic of Finland have outlined areas of enhancing relations between the two countries.
Speaking while he was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Finland’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Kai Mykkanen, said he was in the country with a large business delegation of about 25 companies to meet various ministries.
Mykkanen said he was privileged to witness agreement on solar energy of about 75 megawatts provided by Finnish technology.
Mykkanen also said there were many other projects in the education sector where they were cooperating with the country, even as he expressed hope that the cooperation would be enlarged, especially, in the training of teachers and consultancy.
He also said several initiatives have been put in place in the health and wellbeing sector, saying that fruitful discussions took place with the Ministry of Health as a way of achieving the objectives.
“I very much appreciate the possibility also to meet with you minister. I know that my colleague, the Minister of Transportation, met with you a few months ago, in June actually.
“We see Nigeria as a strategic partner. Here in the African region, you are the engine of the continent in many ways: the largest in population, largest in economy and also, that you have huge prospective in front of you,” Mykkanen said.
Mykkanen added that one field that is important to Finland is the development policy which he is in charge of, besides trade.
He said the first priority in that regard was girls and women’s issues, sexual reproductive health and rights, adding that the delegation earlier visited a clinic supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“When it comes to maternal services and giving birth and family planning services, hopefully, we can help you through UNFPA,” Mykkanen added.
In his remarks, Onyeama said he hoped the partnerships both sides can build were really ones that could add value to the relations between Finland and Nigeria.
Onyeama said in the area of transportation, the Federal Government was investing a lot in the budget by building transport infrastructure, especially railway and also, air transportation.
“I think it is very good that we look at opportunities and strategic partnerships. Communications also is another area that is extremely important across horizontally for us.