Nigeria has pledged to strengthen its relationship with The Bahamas in the tourism sector and other areas of economic interest.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba, Benaoyagha Okoyen, made the pledge at the presentation of Copies D’Usage to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Darren Henfield.
Okoyen, accredited concurrently to The Bahamas, Honduras and Nicaragua, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York.
The presentation of copies D’usage marked the first concrete step towards his formal accreditation as Nigeria’s non-resident High Commissioner to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
Okoyen said Nigeria looked forward to a more robust and mutually beneficial interface with The Bahamas, where new vistas of opportunity would be explored to widen areas of cooperation and engagement.
“Nigeria would welcome the opportunities to strengthen its relations with The Bahamas’ robust tourism industry.
“Nigeria, as the most populous black nation in the world, is the leading investment destination for potential and serious investors, and the business opportunities are abundant and increasing, with a good return on investment.
“It is also common knowledge that Nigeria is a leading investor in tourism, banking and financial services from Africa.
“As a regional financial hub, Nigerian banks have expanded operations into other nations to cushion challenges in some markets, diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in the region.’’
Okoyen said Nigeria’s booming financial sector was willing to diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in The Bahamas.
He said the Nigerian banking sector is willing “to open subsidiaries in insurance brokerage, consumer lending and banking services that will have a direct bearing on the lives of those in the lower-income bracket.
“I hope our relation will provide the enabling environment for the expansion of businesses into Nigeria and that of the Bahamas.’’
The envoy said Nigeria and The Bahamas shared historical and cultural ties with a commitment to the ideals of democracy, human rights and Agenda 2030.
“Relations between Nigeria and the Bahamas rank high on the priorities of our government, especially as we seek to broaden the sphere of engagement across the Atlantic,’’ he said.
Okoyen said much will be achieved by both countries in forging a closer alliance even in the face of the current pandemic altering the outlook of the world.
“In the face of the current pandemic, the Nigerian government is focused primarily on the enormous responsibility of keeping the population of over 200 million people healthy.
“The government is focused on vaccinating the population while introducing measures to reinvigorate the economy,’’ he said.
Okoyen is expected to present his Letter of Credence to the Governor-General at a later date.