By Bukar Bolori
Nigeria’s government and her Danish counterpart have expressed readiness to collaborate to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The renewed effort by both governments took place during a bilateral meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Foreign Minister of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod, on the sidelines of the ongoing 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States.
In his remarks, Kofod said Denmark was strengthening its cooperation with all of the countries around the Gulf of Guinea and deploying resources to the Gulf of Guinea to fight piracy.
Kofod also said Denmark wanted to cooperate with all the countries around the Gulf of Guinea to fight the root cause of piracy, adding that as a maritime country, Denmark is occupied with safe travel for its seafarers and its ships.
He said: “As a maritime nation like Nigeria, we are very occupied with safe travel at sea for our seafarers, for our ships. So, that is why we are investing heavily in this.”
On his part, Onyeama said the relations between the Denmark and Nigeria were excellent.
Onyeama also said apart from the Gulf of Guinea, Demark has been very supportive in the area of humanitarian assistance in the Northeast regarding the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He said in the area of investment, Nigeria is trying to diversify and attract more investment, disclosing that Nigeria is working with Denmark to expand in terms of not just goods and things that are brought into the country, but also for Nigeria’s export promotion.
“We are working on that and helping also with regards to the herders, to be more sedentary in ranching and producing milk with the cattle and other business module,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama further described the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Denmark as a win-win situation, even as he said Nigeria was looking for more investment into the country.
Earlier, Onyeama met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Rogelio Mayta, and signed an agreement to mark the 39 years of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Bolivia.
Onyeama disclosed that both countries were hoping that the agreement would be the basis and the beginning to re-dynamise the relationship between both countries.
He said Nigeria and Bolivia would have to establish a mechanism that would look at win-win areas for both countries.
Onyeama added that Bolivia had many assets, particularly in the area of mining where the country is known to be very strong, an area he said, Nigeria was getting into in the effort to diversify the Nation’s economy.
“So, I think that we can share experiences with Bolivia in that area and I think there are other areas like agriculture and other things where we can look at areas of cooperation,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama further noted that the two countries have sectors where they have comparative advantage, saying that it will be good for both countries to share ideas and experiences to develop concrete programmes.
In his remarks, Mayta described the bilateral meeting as a welcome development, saying that Bolivia felt it was good to relaunch its relations with Nigeria.
“For countries like ours, it is so important to have a really strong relationship. There is need to go beyond the power of the global centre. They are to increase like brothers and like the people that we are,” Mayta said.