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September 17, 2019
DIPLOMACY WORLD

H.E. Okechukwu Fidelis Muoh, Ambassador of Nigeria to Romania: Nigeria, 56th Independence anniversary

INTRODUCTION

Nigeria is a country situated in the western region of Africa with a land mass of 923,768 square km making it 4 times larger than Romania and 7 times bigger than England. The country is laced with meandering rivers two of which meet at a confluence to naturally divide Nigeria into three regions. In the north of this region there is the dry savanna climate mostly inhabited by the Hausa/Fulani people. In the south west and south east there is a tropical rainforest climate mostly inhabited by the Yoruba and Igbo people. All together Nigeria is a populous country with an estimated population of 173 million people falling into 1 out of the 250 ethnic groups. Nigeria is also the most populated country in Africa.

Nigeria is blessed with so many natural resources such as, solid minerals, arable lands, human resources, oil and gas. In fact, it is the biggest oil exporter in Africa and seventh oil producing country in the world, with the largest natural gas reserves in the African continent.  There is no doubt Nigeria is endowed as it is ranked the 21st largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 20th largest in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. It is the largest economy in Africa with a workforce of 48.33 million people and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African sub region.

Nigeria is an emerging world market that is expanding its reach into the financial, entertainment, communication and technology sectors. One of Nigeria’s achievement in the entertainment sector is its growing popularity with music and movies, especially with the Nollywood movie Industry.

The expedition to independence started with some constitutional developments that led the country to attain self-rule in some regions in 1957 and then gained independence from the Great Britain on 1st October, 1960 becoming a republic in 1963.

Our country is the birthplace of many world renowned individuals such as literary Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, football superstar J.J Okocha, and billionaire Aliko Dangote and many more. Nigeria as a country has made its mark not only in Africa but also in the world, it has come a long way to be known as the Giant of Africa.

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND HIS CHANGE MANTRA

Our current democratic system is attributable to three successive transitions of power starting from 1999 which ultimately led to the fall of a military regime, bringing us to May 29, 2015, another peaceful transfer of power from the civilian regime of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to President Muhammadu Buhari. On assumption of power President Muhammadu Buhari’s main thrust of administration are: fight against Boko Harm insurgency, anticorruption and revamping of the economy through massive infrastructural development and diversification from oil to non-oil sector. On security, the present administration has been able to recover back the fourteen (14) Local Government in the North Eastern State of Borno hitherto under the control of Boko Haram and decimated it capabilities.

The promotion of Nigeria’s image abroad is another area of concern to the present administration, this led to the recent flag off of the “Change Begins with Me” campaign that took place on the 8th September, 2016.The main goal of the campaign is to instill discipline and patriotism in Nigerians.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGERIA

There are a number of investment opportunities that would attract investors to invest in Nigeria despite the current challenges in the fall of oil prices and the value of its currency the Naira. Investment opportunities in Nigeria range from agriculture, infrastructure, power, education, mining and manufacturing sector to mention but a few.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had put in place policies and reforms for the attraction of foreign direct investments. These policies among others include the 0% capital gain tax on foreign direct investment for the first two years of operation in Nigeria

 BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN NIGERIA AND ROMANIA

Nigeria marked its presence in Romania with the establishment of fully-fledged diplomatic relations in 1974. Since the commencement of this diplomatic relations with Romania, the two countries have remained partners and members of several international organization such as the United Nations (UN) and the Non- aligned movement (NAM). Romania has consistently been contributing to the man power development of Nigeria through its scholarships to date.

Nigeria and Romania have enjoyed mutual bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural spheres; and at the multilateral level. The inception of this relation had facilitated mutual working relations that entailed exchange of trade, information and data as well as strategies that would enhance the movement of goods and services between the two countries especially in the present globalized world. Nigeria still appreciates the role of Romania under the defunct USSR that supported the Federal Government in keeping the country united during its civil war from 1967 – 1970.

It is worthy of mention that Nigeria would be hosting the first Nigeria – European Union (EU) Forum on the 12th of November,2016 in Lagos and this is expected to provide an avenue for the establishment of Nigeria-Romania Chamber of Commerce.

As the country celebrates its independence, the country hopes for a robust and enhanced mutually beneficial relationship by expanding areas of economic interest particularly foreign direct investment from prospective business entities of the two countries.

Nigeria commends the diligent effort of President Klaus Iohannis in the fight against corruption just like his friend and brother President Muhammadu Buhari. We believe that corruption is a cancer that affects genuine development for the benefit of the citizens of our two countries. In Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the fight against corruption has yielded unprecedented results that lead to the recovery of over 10 billion USD apart from seizure of physical assets from treasury looters. All these were achieved within only one year. We believe that Nigeria and Romania will continue to exchange ideas and learn from each other on the ongoing war against corruption and its conviction and recovery process.

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