By Henry Umoru
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan is making case for closer collaboration between Nigeria, Turkey and South Korea particularly in parliamentary engagements and also in the areas of economy and technology.
Lawan made the call yesterday in separate audiences with the Ambassadors of Turkey, Hidayet Bayraktar and South Korea, Kim Young-Chae who paid him visits in his office at the National Assembly.
The President of Turkey was on a visit to Nigeria last month during which some agreements were signed between the two countries.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser, Media, Ola Awoniyi, the President of the Senate told his first guest the Ambassador of Turkey, that the National Assembly, particularly the Senate “will be glad to have a parliamentary relationship with the Turkish Grand Parliament.
Lawan said, “Whatever we do at the executive level and I know so many agreements were signed the last time the President was here.
“The National Assembly can be of help here because some of the agreements need to be actually activated or supported by legislation so that we have a better and more enduring arrangement that withstand the test of time.
“So the relationship between the two parliaments of Nigeria and Turkey is very important.
“We have already established a Senate Nigeria/Turkey Tarliament Friendship Group but we are yet to start any activities.
“So with this visit, I want to tell you clearly that we are ready as a parliament to engage with our colleagues in Turkey and convey our message to the Speaker of the Grand Parliament of Turkey that the Senate particularly is also willing to share experience with them and we are prepared to exchange visits so that we benefit from each other.”
Lawan thanked the Turkish authourities for the support that Nigeria received in the fight against insurgency and also for granting Nigerian students scholarship to study in Turkish Universities.
“We will continue to hope that this relationship is improved further and further at all times and from 1962 to date, definitely the relationship has grown but we want it to be faster and I believe that when we have more economic engagements and more parliamentary relationship, the relationship can be stronger,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the Turkish Ambassador told the Senate President that “during our President’s visit, the thing that we have noticed is that the parliamentary dimension of our relationship is not too strong.
“We are trying to intensify relationship in that field.”
Also speaking to the Ambassador of South Korea, the Senate President applauded the relationship between Nigeria and South Korea.
“The relationship between South Korea and Nigeria can only be better. The growing trade relationship is commendable but we need to improve on it so that we can benefit from your technological advancement in agriculture sector particularly.
“We need to introduce a lot of technology so that we increase and enhance our agricultural performance in many areas including the mechanisation of our system here for better and improved output.
“In the areas of commerce and other businesses, we have a lot to benefit from you just like you also have a lot to benefit from us. I believe that what we want and need more from South Korea is technology that they have been able to develop.
“So we need an adaptation of some of these technology and we need so much investments from the Korean business community here in Nigeria.
“Nigeria has a very big population and we believe that we can provide a good market instead of always importing from other countries which is inimical to our balance of trade.
“We believe that countries like South Korea should be able to locate very appropriate places within our country and bring some of these technology to be adapted in our country.
“The relationship between the two countries has been so good. I believe we can take our relationship as parliaments especially the Senate and South Korean parliament because whatever we do, we need to make it more susteanable and enduring and when we develop the relationship that we hope to develop, we also need to see areas of agreement where the countries will have mutual benefits and that is where the parliament will be of immense help because the parliament can enact laws that will support the kind of agreements that we can reach between the two countries,” Lawan said.