By BEN AGANDE
ABUJA — President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, charged Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Fuad Bin Abdul-Aziz Rajih, to work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as National Hajj Commission to ease and facilitate the annual participation of Nigerian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj.
Speaking at an audience with Mr. Rajih, after receiving his letters of credence at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan noted that Nigerians were deeply religious people and urged the Saudi ambassador to do everything possible to make them perform their religious obligations.
He said the Federal Government will greatly appreciate the ambassador’s cooperation and support in making the participation of Nigerian Muslims in the Hajj easier and free of hindrances.
He said Nigeria would welcome greater economic relations with Saudi Arabia and urged the ambassador to focus on expanding areas of economic cooperation between the two countries during his tenure.
At an earlier audience with the new Ugandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Peter Kagimu Kiwanuka, President Jonathan emphasised that African nations must make greater efforts to boost formal economic and trade relations amongst them.
According to the President, Nigeria is committed to making trade amongst African nations easier and less cumbersome and will work with Uganda and other members of the African Union to achieve this objective.