… As trade volume dips to $1.145bn
From Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
NIGERIA and Turkey yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen relations on trade, economic development and industrial cooperation.
This is even as both countries acknowledged that trade volume between them dipped to $1.145 billion from $2.5 billion as at 2014 to late 2015.
The MoUs on energy and security are still being framed and will be signed at a later date, President Muhammadu Buhari said during a joint press conference at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he received Turkish President, Recef Erdoghan.
President Buhari thanked Erdoghan for identifying with Nigeria and expressing intentions to invest in the country and to get Nigerians to invest in Turkey.
“The MoUs just signed now on trade, economic and industrial cooperation, with others in the pipeline in terms of energy and security, are just the beginning of what we have in the pipeline. We would continue to draw MoUs and we will subsequently sign them,” he said.
Speaking on the MoUs signed at the bilateral meeting held in the President’s office, Erdoghan said the MoUs were important instruments that would help to further improve the trade relations of both countries.
He noted that Nigeria is a regional and global actor and one of the sub-Saharan countries that are seen as a strategic partner with Turkey, encouraging Turkish and Nigerian businessmen to increase their investments in both countries.
“As we speak, our business people are connecting with their Nigerian counterparts. I encourage Turkish business people to make investments in Nigeria. Looking at the population of Nigeria and Turkey put together, we are talking about 260 million people and this is a very important market.
“Our total trade volume is currently at $1,145 billion, our export is $314 million and our import is $831 million. As you can see, the result is to the favour of Nigeria. I believe that if the two countries combine forces, making use of our own respective resources, we would be able to come up with even better outcomes.
“I want to call on Nigerian business people to also make investments in Turkey. We are ready to share our experiences particularly in the area of irrigation and agriculture,” the Turkish President said.
Erdoghan extended an invitation to President Buhari to visit Turkey during which time it is expected that talks on energy and security would be concluded and MoUs signed.