Nigeria and Portugal have expressed determination to take relations between the two countries to a whole new level with concrete deliverables, emphasizing the need for stronger ties 46 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication on Thursday in Lisbon, at a joint press conference with President Marcela Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal.
The Nigerian leader told the press after a one-on-one meeting with his Portuguese counterpart and an enlarged meeting between delegations that in spite of the existing cordial relations between the two countries, there was a need for greater collaboration.
President Buhari, therefore, declared that as many as ten agreements and Memoranda of Understanding are being prepared for signing during his State visit to the European country.
These include ‘‘The Establishment of an Atlantic Research Centre; Air travel; Political Consultations; Diplomatic Training; Cultural Cooperation; Investment Promotion; Chambers of Commerce Cooperation; Women and Child Development; Youth and Sports Development and Digital Economy Cooperation.
‘‘The world is at a crossroads. The decisions we take as leaders could make or break the world as we know it.
‘‘We face existential challenges with climate change, food insecurity, conflict, health, and energy among others.
‘‘We look to Portugal as an influential country and partner to play an important role in helping to pull the world back from the brink.’’
President Buhari thanked the Portuguese leader for the role his government played during his tenure as President of the European Union, in securing EU and International Monetary Union financial support for Africa.
Highlighting that this year marks the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Nigerian leader said:
‘‘We are delighted that we can count Portugal as a valued and reliable friend and partner.
‘‘We share the same democratic values and look to increase and broaden cooperation in various fields at the bilateral and multilateral levels.’’
The president added that there will be a Nigeria-Portugal Business and Investment Forum with the participation of over 80 representatives from Nigerian public and private sector companies, agencies and organizations.