Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cameroon Ambassador Abayomi Olonisakin has commended the initiatives of Nigerian companies extending their businesses to neighbouring countries like Cameroon to further strengthen the good ties between the two countries over time.
Olonisakin made this known during his five-day working visit to Douala barely few months after he assumed office.
He stated that it is important for them to extend corporate social responsibilities not only to the Cameroonians alone but also to Nigerians living in the regions.
He said: “I am very impressed with the development of the companies from Nigeria. I must commend all the effort of the leadership of those businesses to have the initiative of establishing businesses in Cameroon like Dangote Cement, United Bank for Africa, and others.”
He continued: “Having met with the Nigerian companies in Cameroon, I made them understand the importance of Nigerians living in the country as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
“I am very confident that Nigerians living in Cameroon will benefit from the development; it is not only about Cameroonians but Nigerians also to further strengthen the ties between the two countries economically.”
Olonisakin stated that visiting Douala, the Littoral region is part of his five-day working visit plan to be acquainted with the authorities.
“My visit to Douala, the Littoral region is for me to get acquainted with the people living in the community and meet the authority regarding issues about Nigerians who are living in the community in other words to encourage them and listen to them.”
The retired Nigerian army general visited Cameroon’s Littoral Regional Governor; Ivaha Diboua, at the Bonanjo based Governor’s office in Douala, to discuss the possibility of a permanent Consulate staff residence in Douala.
“Yes I met with the governor, and I must appreciate his comment concerning the Nigerians residing in the region, he spoke well about their behavior which I am very pleased about, he also spoke well about their peaceful existence and cooperation to accommodate each other and their businesses in the region.
Concerning the issue of permanent residence for home- based officers, he promised to look into that request and hopes that in a matter of time he will be able to get it fulfilled.”
The Ambassador was part of the top dignitaries that bid farewell to the outgoing Nigerian Consul General for NorthWest and SouthWest in Buea, Mr. Ibrahim Bashir, during which he called on the Nigerian community to show better cooperation for the successor.
“The farewell showed that he’s a committed servant and dedicated to duties. He did good works that positively affected the lives of Nigerians living in the region and deepened the relationship between Nigerians and Cameroonians. His diligence to duty paid huge dividends for him at his sent forth, in which people came in numbers to appreciate his work and show their appreciation in his regard. I want to really commend all he did within that period.”
Over time, socio-political crises have ensued in the Northwest and Southwest regions in Cameroon where many Nigerian nationals reside but Olonisakin has appealed to everybody living in the regions to allow peace to reign and resolve the issues.
“As I said, there’s nothing better than peace in life, we must understand that there’s no other substitute to peace, so whatever we need to ensure that we have peace in our region is what we must pursue,” Olonisakin appealed to the Nigerian community.
“Wherever I find myself, I let them understand there’s no substitute for peace, and all hands must be on deck. All the stakeholders must be committed to ensuring there is peace. And of course, we know in the Northwest/Southwest there are some conflicts over there but it’s very important to let everybody understand that they must allow peace to reign. It is with peace that we can make progress.
The 59-year-old general said he was delighted to see patriotism among Nigerians upholding values in Cameroon.
“I was really delighted to see them coming out in numbers to appreciate their presence and I used that moment to send a message to them to ensure they live in peace and continue their good life and be law-abiding in the country, and once they can do that, we are sure to support them ultimately.
Of course, they have issues they have mentioned which I will address when I get back to Yaounde to ensure that these issues are properly addressed so that their stay here can be pleasant.”
Olonisakin expressed interest in the forthcoming Nigerian- Cameroon Trade, Tourism, and Cultural Fair in Douala.
“It was a good initiative which should be sustained. This is going to be the second edition, which I believe will build on the successes of the first edition. We are working with necessary stakeholders to ensure that the second edition is an improvement on the first. In this position, we are going to involve more of the home country, and all the relevant agencies and ministries will be contacted to participate in the trade show in such a way that they are well represented.”
Speaking on the forthcoming Nigerian Independence Day and the African Nations Cup billed for Cameroon next year, he said: “The country as a whole needs prayer, we must support our country in prayer, the Nigerian community, the stakeholders and every Nigerian living in Cameroon should support the country in prayer as we are about to celebrate our Independence.
They should be law-abiding and respect the constitution that governs the land.
“The Nations Cup is coming next year, and the Super Eagles of Nigeria need total support. We should make the country more comfortable for them and elevate them for success as the giant of Africa.”