By David Iorja (ABUJA)
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Friday in Paris-France said Nigeria will sustain its spotlight on African countries as the fulcrum of its policies on economy and foreign policy, assuring that trade issues, security and border controls will be mutually implemented.
Receiving the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Talon, after the Summit on New Global Financing Pact, President Tinubu noted that bilateral relations with African countries, particularly at the sub-regional level will be enhanced for shared benefits in areas of security, health, energy, education and diplomacy.
“We are ready to improve relations. Africa has been the centrepiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy,” he said in a statement by Dele Alake, Special Adviser to the President, Special Duties, Communication and Strategy.
“I believe in Africa. We have the necessity to grow the continent. The world’s economy is wobbling, and Africa has been left behind. On risk factors, Africa is always placed high, with higher interest rates on borrowing. We are always classified as high risk. We must work together for systematic recovery and growth,” he added.
President Tinubu described Nigeria’s relations with Benin as that of siamese twins, joined at the hips, and supported by other friendly countries.
“We must recognise the fact that we need each other. We are in a loop and no one should separate us, ” he stated, assuring that his administration will always be open and accessible to all neighbouring countries.
“I just appointed someone who will work with you as Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, and he will be available for our common interest,” the President noted.
The President of Benin said he was inspired with renewed hope for the sub-region and Africa at the inauguration of President Tinubu in Abuja, pledging to provide support on trade and security policy, especially at the borders.
“We are prepared to work with you, Your Excellency, in implementing policies that will protect our economies at land and sea entries. Whatever is forbidden in Nigeria will also be forbidden in Benin,” Talon added.
President Tinubu also had bilateral meetings with Swiss President, Alain Berset, and President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.