Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Nigeria and Ethiopia have concluded plans to hold a Joint Ministerial Commission meeting in Addis Ababa in June, to discuss various areas of bilateral relationship and exchange perspectives on a wide range of international issues of mutual interest.
To this end, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday hosted the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, to a State Visit and a presidential lunch attended by the First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari and Ethiopian First Lady Zinash Tayachew, at the State House, Abuja.
A major fall out of the visit is the desire of both countries to take concrete steps to expand bilateral relations in key areas including the economy, trade, science and technology, solid minerals, among others.
Briefing newsmen after the visit, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Victor Adeleke, explained the essence of the visit and the burgeoning state of relations between both countries.According to him, the state of relations between Nigeria and Ethiopia is very warm adding that”we are working together and we will soon be convening the Joint Ministerial Commission to discuss various areas of relationship that will be beneficial to both countries.
‘‘Nigerian officials are heading to Addis Ababa in June to discuss various areas of relationship including political, economic, science and technology, mines and industry.
‘‘We have been engaging and we will continue to engage”.
The envoy further said: ‘‘The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed has always taken Nigeria as one of the pillars in Africa and a strong country in stabilizing democracy in Africa.‘‘In the spirit of African brotherhood and seeking African solutions to African problems, President Buhari and the Prime Minister consult from time to time and this visit is an icing on the cake.
‘‘President Buhari has been in Addis Ababa a couple of times so the Prime Minister thought it wise to visit Nigeria and confer with President Buhari enroute to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, for the humanitarian conference and the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government.
‘‘In the private sector, Dangote has a big cement factory in Ethiopia and Ethiopia has an expanding economy in Africa.
‘‘So this is a very important and useful visit that will help officials from both countries to continue to network.’’