Pledges tighter security in the Gulf of Guinea
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said stronger diplomatic ties with the Hellenic Republic (Greece) and the Republic of Cuba will bolster Nigeria’s ongoing effort to diversify the economy, improve global competitiveness and reposition the country to play more leading roles.
President Buhari, who received Letters of Credence from Ambassador of Hellenic Republic to Nigeria, Monsieur Loannis Plotas at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said: “the long-standing diplomatic and business relations with the country will be strengthened for mutual benefit, noting that most global challenges will need collective efforts for lasting solutions.”
In his remarks, Plotas said business ties between Nigeria and Hellenic Republic, also known as Greece, had been long, particularly the flour mills that employed about 50, 000 Nigerians at some point in the country’s history.
“I am very proud to be my country’s ambassador at such a historic moment when we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of Nigeria, while my country will be celebrating its 200 years anniversary this year,’’ he said.
The Ambassador told President Buhari that he will continue to support and project Nigeria across Europe, at every opportunity, while sharing its expertise in agriculture with institutions and individuals in the country.
While receiving the Letters of Credence of the Ambassador of Cuba to Nigeria, Clara Margarita Pulido Escandell, the President said the cultural similarities between both countries should serve as an impetus for working together, especially on trade, adding that Cuba’s efforts in developing medicine and engineering could provide a springboard.
President Buhari said Nigeria received support at international forums from Cuba for many years, assuring that the bilateral relations would be strengthened.
In her remarks, the Ambassador of Cuba said:
“I am proud to serve in Nigeria. The history of Cuba is incomplete without Nigeria and Nigerians. We always recall that some of the slaves brought into our country were Nigerians, and they played great roles in the development of the country.
“That’s why we are mixed blood. Also, Your Excellency, your personal venture, integrity and your voice at the UN General Assembly in projecting Nigeria is outstanding.’’
At the ceremony, President Buhari assured the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea, Francisco Edu Ngua Mangue, that Nigeria is taking measures to secure the Gulf of Guinea, following his meeting with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The President also received Mangue’s Letters of Credence.
In his remarks, the ambassador said the insecurity at the Gulf of Guinea had persisted, and President Mbasogo had called for joint efforts to tackle the challenge.