By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to prioritise the formulation of legislation that would see to the actualisation of the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Morocco.
Saraki made the commitment, at separate meetings with President of Moroccan House of Councillors (upper chamber), Mr. Abdelhakim Benchamach and President of the House of Representatives of Morocco, Mr. Habib El-Malki, in Rabat, Morocco recently.
According to a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Isa, the Senate President recalled that several bilateral agreements in the energy, gas, agriculture and other sectors were signed by the two countries during the recent state visit by the King of Morocco to Nigeria.
“Those agreements, particularly the trans African gas pipeline, if actualised will be a big victory and catalyst of development, not only for the two countries but for the entire African continent. As legislators, we have a great role to play in supporting this initiative of our leaders in providing legal framework for the actualisation of those agreements,” he said.
Saraki added that the foundation for a better relationship between Nigeria and Morocco, two major economic powers on the continent, has been laid by President Muhammadu Buhari and King Muhammad VI.
“The foundation for strengthening the historical relationship between the two countries has been laid by the two leaders, and it is now our responsibility as lawmakers to begin the process of building it for the benefit of our people and Africa in general. It is our duty to support them to achieve the desired result,” he said.
He also called for the establishment of a legislative forum between both countries to ensure discussions in the areas of common interest, such as economy and culture.
Saraki was accompanied to the meetings by Senators Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Adamu Abdullahi, Phillip Aduda, Dino Melaye and Albert Bassey.
Benchamach, in his response, lauded Nigeria’s role in addressing the challenges being experienced on the continent, and expressed the readiness of Morocco to collaborate with other African countries to address the continent’s economic challenges.
“During the cold war Africa paid a high cost and now it is time to make our voice heard and demand for our rights,” he said.