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Gbajabiamila seeks Canada’s assistance to tackle insecurity

By Tony Akowe, Abuja


Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has the assistance of the Canadian government towards addressing the security challenges facing the country.

The Speaker said Nigeria, like other countries, is facing serious security challenges, adding that the assistance of Canada towards addressing it would be of benefit to both countries.

Speaking while hosting the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Nicolas Simard, in his office on Friday, Gbajabiamila spoke of the need for stronger diplomatic ties between Nigeria and Canada.

While expressing appreciation for the existing relationships between the two countries which led to a significant rise in trade, education and technology over the years, Gbajabiamila emphasized the need for Canada to explore areas of security, cybersecurity, biosafety, energy as well as parliamentary diplomacy to the benefit of both countries.

He said “This is important because Nigeria and Canada go back a long way in terms of symbiotic and beneficial relationships.

“It is important that we sustain and continue these engagements to the benefit of our countries. As we know, the world is a global village now, and everybody feeds off everybody and we are all interdependent one way or the other,” he said.

He said further that the National Assembly prioritizes certain issues, not only for the development of the country but also in conformity with global demands.

He said the issue of security, gender parity, violence against persons, rape, in addition to the economy are well articulated in the 9th House Legislative Agenda to help drive the attainment of the set goals of the Green Chamber.

Read Also: 1999 Constitution must be reworked, says Gbajabiamila


The Speaker disclosed that the House has taken bold steps to address gender issue through legislative means, including the ongoing constitutional review exercise, the saying “Gender parity is an area that this 9th National Assembly, I think more than any past Assembly, focuses seriously on. We are not just talking, we are walking the talk”.

In his remarks, the Canadian High Commissioner, Simard, informed the Speaker that the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries had resulted in more than $1 billion trade exchange between the two nations last year, while about $115 million per year in form of humanitarian and development assistance from Canada to Nigeria to several sectors has been given.

To underscore the importance of the relationships between the two countries, the Canadian Governor-General visited Nigeria in 2018.

Simard also expressed Canada’s readiness for more robust engagement with  Nigeria, while he inquired about how Nigeria is dealing with issues of women empowerment and inclusion as well as human rights situation and what steps the House was taking towards the issues.

The diplomat, however, congratulated the country on the adoption of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act and its domestication by several states.

While hoping that a virtual meeting of the bilateral bi-national commission of both countries would hold soon, he also expressed the readiness of Canada to offer assistance in the area of security and biosafety.

Present at the meeting were the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Babajimi Benson; the Chairman Committee of Legislative Agenda Monitoring and Implementation, Rep. Henry Nwawuba; the Chairman, Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Rep. Wunmi Onanuga, and the Chairman, Committee on Maritime Safety and Education, Rep. Lynda Ikpeazu.


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