PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan Thursday in Abuja reaffirmed the importance of peace, political stability and socio-economic development in Africa to Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Speaking at an audience with
the new Mauritanian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. B.A. Abderrahmane, President Jonathan said that in furtherance of its commitment to working with other African countries to promote democracy, good governance and progress on the continent, his administration was working towards establishing embassies or representational offices in all African countries, including Mauritania.
“Africa remains the centerpiece of our foreign policy and I have always believed that if real progress and development is to come to Africa, we must initiate it ourselves. We cannot keep waiting for others to do it for us.
“Establishing functional relationships amongst ourselves is a necessary first step in this regard and we are committed to ultimately having full diplomatic representation with all African nations,” the President told the incoming Mauritanian Ambassador.
President Jonathan expressed the hope that the existing relationship between Nigeria and Mauritania will be further strengthened during Mr. Abderrahmane’s tenure.
The President also received the letters of credence of the new ambassadors of Thailand and Bangladesh today in Abuja.
He told Ambassador Somchai Powcharon of Thailand and Ambassador Nur Mohammed of Bangladesh that his Administration will welcome the expansion of areas of bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and their respective countries, especially in the areas of agriculture and the development of small and medium scale industries.
At an earlier audience with the Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Austria, Mr. Michael Spindelegger, President Jonathan said that Nigeria was open to greater investment by Austrians in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, including power generation.
“We want to end the era of our people generating power for themselves. We are fully committed to stabilizing and boosting public power supply because we know that unless this is done, we cannot stimulate economic growth the way we want with the development of more small and medium scale industries,” he told Mr. Spindelegger who is leading an Austrian trade and investment mission to Nigeria.
President Jonathan later received the outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mustafa Ahmad.
He thanked Mr. Ahmad for working to enhance relations between Nigeria and Malaysia, and facilitating the training of ex-Niger Delta militants in his country under the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme.