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EU, Nigeria’s partnership tops global rankings – Amb. Isopi

Ambassador Samuela Isopi, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria, has said the partnership between the EU and Nigeria tops global rankings.

She disclosed this during her opening remarks at the reception to mark the occasion of Europe Day 2024, in Abuja.

“By now, EU cooperation with Nigeria tops global rankings whether in the energy and climate, digital, innovation, health or entrepreneurship areas.

“This is further amplified by our joint work with EU Member States and EU financial institutions (such as the European Investment Bank) as Team Europe, which combines our strengths across most areas of cooperation,” she said.

In line with the Global Gateway strategy, EU cooperation is now targeting critical public and private investments, thereby providing the necessary instruments to make such investments viable and sustainable, Isopi added.

“In the health sector, besides continuous support to public actors at federal and state level, our support includes the mobilisation of public and private sectors investors towards increased local manufacturing of vaccines and other health products.

“This year’s Nigeria EU Business Forum on July 2nd in Abuja will bear witness to progress made and raise our ambition for the years to come.

“As we increasingly focus on investments, our support to migration, governance, peace and security will continue unabated. This support reflects the fundamental values and challenges that bind the EU and Nigeria, such as the rule of law, democratic governance and protection of fundamental rights.”

She said the EU would continue to stand by Nigeria and ECOWAS and remains committed to supporting the region in building a community for the people.

She commended the founding fathers of the EU, saying their feat was proof that people could work together no matter their differences if they decided to.

“There is no other region in the world where democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights are as advanced as they are in the EU or where people can have access to healthcare, education and welfare regardless of their social or financial status,” the ambassador said.

She said the war in Ukraine had helped to realise the importance of moving further ahead in building the EU, adding that an invitation had been extended to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to become members of the EU.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Benjamin Kalu, said Nigeria is committed to engendering an environment encouraging investment and trade with her European partners.

Quoting the United Nations COMTRADE database, he said as of September 2023, the EU’s bilateral trade with Nigeria had surpassed €45 billion.

He said the EU is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, accounting for 20.9% of Nigeria’s global trade.

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