By Naomi Uzor
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has urged the Turkish government, whose embassy is presently in Abuja, to have an office in Lagos so as to ease the difficulty in procuring visa.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Turkish export products fair 2010, at Eko Hotel new exhibition center, the President of NACCIMA, Dr Simeon Okolo, said it will be a welcome idea if the Turkey embassy has an office in Lagos to ease the difficulty in procuring visa, adding that it will also not be out of place to consider the establishment of Nigerian Turkish chamber of commerce which will foster bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.
According to him, Nigeria and Turkey share common features despite their different historical antecedents, as both countries stand as regional powers in their respective regions and are endowed with the cultural richness of its people.
“Interestingly, the trade volume between Turkey and Nigeria has tremendously improved in recent years.
As at 2009, the trade volume between the two countries stands at US$1 billion, even though trade statistics reveal that the balance of trade between the two countries is in favour of Nigeria, the fact still remains that the existence and continuous annual growth in the volume of trade between both countries is a testimony of the faith, reliability and confidence both countries have in each order and in their products” he stated.
The Ambassador, Turkish embassy, Ali Rifat Kokal, said Turkey has traditionally maintained good relations with the African continent, adding that their policy of opening up to Africa initiated in 1998 and that they are determined to improve and develop their political, economic, commercial and cultural interaction with the African countries.
“The Turkish foreign policy towards Africa is not only based on economic and trade objectives but also incorporates a comprehensive approach which includes development of Africa through technical and project assistance in the fields such as fight against diseases, agriculture development, irrigation, energy, education and regular flow of humanitarian aid” he said.