site.btaNigerian Foreign Minister Expresses Hope His Country and Bulgaria Develop Co-operation in Trade and Security
Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said in an interview with BTA that he hopes that cooperation between Bulgaria and Nigeria will develop in the areas of trade and security. The Minister is on an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska.
Onyeama pointed out that medics and engineers who have graduated from universities in Bulgaria are especially valued in his country and hopes that trade ties between the two countries will expand in the future. "Currently, many Nigerians come to Bulgaria to study. There are many Nigerian students in medicine and this is very, very important to us. And also in engineering and we hope to expand ties beyond these sectors," he said.
"Nigeria faces security challenges, and Bulgaria has a good defence industry, and Nigeria wants us to develop co-operation in this area," Onyeama said.
The Nigerian Foreign Minister also noted that Nigeria is a country producing gas and oil and efforts could be made to establish links to supply Bulgaria with these raw materials. "I hope that we will upgrade the relations between our countries through the interpersonal ties created by the students who come to Bulgaria," he said.
Onyeama stressed that there are serious concerns about Africa's food security stemming from the war in Ukraine. Fortunately, Nigeria is diversifying its economy and prioritizing agriculture, so it is self-sufficient in basic crops and this should help it cope with this crisis, the Minister added.
Onyeama noted that Nigeria has already had to act very quickly to deal with the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. "We were on the verge of recession, but we managed to cope with the crisis and now our economy is growing again," he said.
Against the background of all the crises, the Nigerian Foreign Minister noted, however, that the current geopolitical situation also offers opportunities. "Several years ago, we started building a pipeline from Nigeria through several other African countries to connect us with Morocco and from there with Europe," he said. According to him, the current situation provides great opportunities for the development of gas trade. As far as oil is concerned, Onyeama also sees opportunities there, but unfortunately criminal attacks on the pipelines have led to heavy losses and Nigeria has not been able to take full advantage of the very high current oil prices.