Namibia Push For Improved Bilateral Relationship With Nigeria

By Bukar Bolori

Namibia

has expressed willingness to extend bilateral relationship with Nigeria, insisting that it would use her hosting of the 5th Session of the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation holding in Windhoek in August 2022 to push for improved bilateral relationship between the two African countries.Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, the High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria, Mr. Humphrey Geiseb said the present volume of trade between the two country needed to be improved, noting that with the establishment of Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation in 2000, though the Commission has stood the test of time and has provided a platform to assist execute projects between the two countries, both countries should come with further bilateral cooperation.He said: “In 2000, Namibia and Nigeria established the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation. In August 2022, Namibia will host the 5th Session of this Joint Commission to elaborate on mutually beneficial projects between Namibia and Nigeria. “This Joint Commission has stood the test of time and has provided a platform to execute great projects between our two countries.”Geiseb said: “Presently, Namibia exports salt worth around USD10 million a year to Nigeria and also some electronics. A factory to build Namibian electronics in Lagos is under way. Two Nigerian companies, Premier Charcoal in Outjo and King Charcoal in Walvis Bay, are operating in Namibia owned by Nigerian investors.”He noted that: “There is tremendous potential for increasing trade. Definitely, Namibian producers can still export Salt and hopefully in future, Namibian grapes, dates, wine, and once restrictions are lifted, Namibian beef and lamb. There are Namibian producers ready to export Namibian Lamb once a permit is granted. Similarly, Namibia is open for business for Nigerian business ready to export quality Nigerian products to Namibia.”The envoy who revealed that more than 3000 Nigerians are today resident in Namibia while close to 20 Namibians live in Nigeria, said with both Namibia and Nigeria signatories to the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, they will benefit from increased robust intra-African trade amongst African countries. He said Namibia looks forward to the negotiation and finalisation of the Agreement especially eradication of trade and non trade barries, restrictions, import limitations and all impediments to boosting trade. The High Commissioner expressed the willingness of his country to trade with and export to sister African country Namibia’s quality beef, lamb, dates, grapes, wines, fish and many other value-added products. He recalled that the Meat Corporation of Namibia already started selling its tinted beef called Cattleman through Shoprite, but due to change of ownership, Cattleman is no longer available in Shoprite.He said his country recently received good news of substantial oil resources after exploration work by global oil corporations, noting that: “The discovery of substantial oil deposits in Namibia, alongside proven gas resources in Kudu Gas field, offers potential for cooperation between our two countries as well as the Namibia Petroelum Corporation (NAMCOR) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.”

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