By Henry Umoru
THE Nigeria High Commissioner to Namibia, Ambassador Adegboyega Christopher Ariyo has said that if Nigeria as a country must assert its dignity in the African continent and the world in general, there was the urgent need for the attainment of economic independence.
Speaking in Windhoek, Namibia at the opening of Nigeria at 50 anniversary celebration with Exhibition of Nigerian Products and road show of Nigerian Actors/Actresses, Ariyo who noted that having political independence without economic independence means no dignity, called on other African countries like Namibia to ensure the pursuit of economic independence for Africa to restore the lost values as well as achieve the new wave of Pan Africanism.
The event which was organized by the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, NEPC in collaboration with the Nigeria High Commission and holding in Windhoek, Namibia, is part of moves by Nigeria to move from over reliance on oil as the country’s major source of foreign exchange to the non-oil sector through export of services like Nigeria movies as well as products.
The ambassador, who called on Nigeria and Namibia to close those gaps of economic relationship, said the two countries should use culture to redefine their economic development, adding, “it is only fitting to note that the necessary ambience and goodwill that should be created by the two government have been created for the economic players to engage themselves.
According to him, “the two governments believe in promoting the intra-Africa trade. We know that our responsibility is to create jobs by our actions. We both have deployed resources to create this exhibition of Nigeria Exportable goods and services so that trade and economic activities between the two countries will witness great leaps.”
Ariyo who noted that Nigeria as a country has assumed the responsibility of encouraging Namibia into engaging in business activities by making available Nigeria products in Namibia, increase in trade to enhance employment, said,
“It is my fervent desire that Namibia will also send her Exportable goods and services to Nigeria for this type of Mini exhibition. From my interaction with Namibians who have been to Nigeria, I know that there are many products that can readily find markets in Nigeria.
The envoy who also called on Nigeria actors and actresses to use movies and films to focus on cultural values geared towards getting Africa renaissance, said Africa must go back to that culture where we lived in peace, just as he said that we must export our culture, values, adding, “the restoration of the lost African values is very essential now for the new wave of Pan Africanism- the pursuit of economic independence of Africa. Certainly, your roles and those of your compatriots in other African countries will be very crucial.”
In a presentation, Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Councillor Matheus Shikongo while congratulating Nigeria at fifty, noted that the two countries have been built on firm foundations based on a tradition of African values which recognize the worth and potential of each of our citizens, however expressed hope that Nigeria will continue to forge ahead in enhancing freedom and peace in the continent.
According to the Mayor, though, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased, “we still need to do more in order to improve the living standard of our people. Our goal should remain to promote goodwill and understanding between the people of Namibia and Nigeria.”