Nigeria, UAE deepen relations as non-oil sector trade volume hits $1.5bn

The Federal Government has praised the resilience of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to overcome its obstacles to record remarkable achievements as non-oil sector trade volume between Nigeria and UAE hit $1.5 billion.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, gave this commendation during events to mark the 48 independence anniversary of the UAE held in Abuja on Monday.  Represented by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, the Vice President said “UAE is a land of possibilities, to them everything is possible because of their will power and that is one thing we need to learn in Nigeria because once you have the will power, you can achieve anything you want to achieve.”

UAE Ambassador to Nigeria   Fahad Al-Taffaq, told reporters in an interview that his country enjoys excellent bilateral relations with Nigeria across all sectors.  He noted in his speech that the volume of trade between both countries stands at 1.5 billion dollars in the non-oil sector as of 2018.

“This is set to increase with the recent opening of a consulate office in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos in June 2019,” he said.

He added that both countries have also enhanced bilateral relations between UAE main airlines Emirates and Etihad Airways to operate a combine 28 flights weekly from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Lagos and Abuja.

“We are proud today to see that connectivity is improving, bilateral non-oil trade is improving, the flow of tourism especially medical and conventional tourism between the UAE and Nigeria is also increasing.

“We at the UAE are also looking forward to the participation of Nigeria in the Expo 2020 in Dubai, which is the greatest show the world has ever seen. We look forward also to welcome another 200 countries in this event to showcase human development and human genius and to connect to each other and to learn the opportunities that humanity presents from now and in the future,” he said.

On the humanitarian side the envoy said that through the bilateral relations, UAE has impacted the lives of over 22,000 people in Nigeria and families especially widows and IDPs, who have benefited from the UAE especially through vocational training.

“We have also provided humanitarian support to many states in Nigeria since the beginning of this year. And I hope that through proper planning with the Federal Government and the states, we can do more next year. And I will be very proud to come back again to celebrate with you,” he said.

Also speaking to reporters during the event, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, said Nigerian and the UAE has had a very progressive and growing relationship especially at the international scene where both countries have remained close friends and close allies.

“We have enjoyed their support. We have something to learn. What is to learn from the UAE is their resolve to always go for the best and I think is something we can do because Nigerians have distinguished themselves largely outside Nigeria and I think we can do that within our country,” he said.

He also expressed confidence that Nigeria will distinguish itself in the Expo 2020 scheduled for Dubai, where the country will have an opportunity to benefit just like other people will also benefit from Nigeria.

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