Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government and the Commonwealth of Australia have concluded plans to collaborate to improve the information and communications technology (ICT), housing, agriculture, works and health sectors in the country.
The decision, which was the outcome of the 2020 Nigeria-Australia Investment Forum held last week in Melbourne, Australia, was further reinforced Monday during the Third Nigeria-Australia Senior Officials Talks which took place in Abuja.
The Third Nigeria-Australia Senior Officials Talks is the third round of bilateral consultations held sequel to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade signed on September 5, 2012, in Canberra, Australia.
The meeting, according to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was a platform to enable Senior Officials’ level consultations to review all aspects of relations and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Speaking about the collaboration, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador Bello Kazaure Husseini, said the High Commission of Nigeria in Australia decided to showcase Nigeria to the world, hence, the decision to collaborate in the various sectors.
He added that since assumption of duty, the 2020 Nigeria-Australia Investment Forum was the second event organised by the Nigerian High Commission in Australia to galvanise investors for the country, having held a similar event in 2018 titled ‘2018 Nigeria Mining Roadshow.’
The High Commissioner disclosed that the 2020 event drew quite a number of Nigerian companies, government institutions and stakeholders who participated.
“Let me be proud to tell you that it was a huge success. We managed to penetrate Australian investors. They attended the conference and I am satisfied that in the near future, we will see the dividends of what we are doing,” Husseini said.
While noting that the country has a lot of potentials and a large population to its advantage, the envoy stated that all that was needed was zeal, even as he urged Nigerians to be optimistic.
Also speaking, a former High Commissioner of Nigeria to Australia and Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni, said the private sector was very key and important in the efforts to actualise the Nigerian-Australian business prospects.
“That was why we went to Australia last year. NACCIMA went. This time around, we are also working closely to ensure that the private sector plays a key role because that is the sector that will drive the process,” Olukanni said.
Speaking earlier, Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Claire Ireland, said Australia will continue to support Nigeria’s priority which is its effort to diversify the economy.
The High Commissioner added that the mining sector, which is the area Australia has a comparative advantage, is one way the Australian government is looking forward to supporting the Nigerian government.