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Spain to Collaborate with Nigeria on Insecurity

“Nigeria is one of the great regional actors, the first economy of the continent and an absolute pillar to ECOWAS.”

The government of Spain on Thursday promised to collaborate with it’s

Nigerian counterpart to fight the rising state of insecurity across the West African country.

The Spanish government also gave a posthumous award to the late Nigeria Ambassador to Spain, Ademola Seriki for the tremendous work towards strengthening Nigeria-Spain relationship.

The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, Jose Manuel Albares who led a delegation to the Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja, said his visit evolved around bilateral and economic cooperation, stressing the need for the improvement in the existing relationship between both countries.

The Spanish minister commended the efforts so far by the Nigerian government in curbing insecurity, expressing the readiness of his government to extend a helping hand to address the root causes of insecurity.

He said: “Nigeria is one of the great regional actors, the first economy of the continent and an absolute pillar to ECOWAS. My visit is to give a new impetus to the relationship that is already strong and restate the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Spain in which five Memorandum of Understandings were signed and three treaties on judicial cooperation. Thanks to the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs as the visit was a success.

“My visit today, firstly, is on bilateral cooperation in which we have been working successfully. The economic field and cooperation is the absolute center of our relationship. Spain is one of the best clients of Nigeria in the world. Very specifically, we are the second client of Nigeria in the world. We have been one of the largest clients in gas and petroleum for a long time. We want to continue to strengthen that energy relationship but the bilateral relationship is getting deeper. Most aspects have been covered.

“Security, which is a common challenge to Nigeria and as a country, we want to offer our support to Nigeria in this challenge. We want to express officially our solidarity with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism. We commend Nigeria’s efforts in the fight against violence and terrorism and at the same time, we want to help Nigeria address the root causes of these conflicts. We are improving our relationship for the interests of the two countries in many other fields.”

Responding, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama appreciated his counterpart, stressing the need for both countries to work together especially in the area of economy.

Onyeama said: “We are very close and deep economic partners. Nigeria is one of the primary suppliers of oil and gas and petroleum to spain. We want to diversify our economic cooperation. Spain is a big player in the European Union and globally, so we want to see increased trade. We are particularly delighted as you spoke on insecurity. Not just military security but food security. Spain is a huge investor in Africa in the agricultural sector. Food security and agriculture are major priorities of the Nigerian government. We are delighted to see the cooperation in that area.

“We are delighted in the cooperation that we have in addressing insurgency and terrorism in the Sahel. We will continue to work together alongside the global community to address the security challenges we are facing in our sub region.”

Meanwhile, the Government of Spain has given a posthumous award to the late Nigeria Ambassador to Spain, Ademola Seriki for the tremendous work towards strengthening Nigeria-Spain relationship.

The award, which was presented by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs,  Jose Manuel Albares, was received by the wife of the late Ambassador, Wosilat Seriki, and his son, Wale Demola-Seriki.

Confirming the award, Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said that the award was an evidence of the great work and tenacity of the late Ambassador in promoting the bilateral relations between both countries.

The Minister while extolling the virtues of the late envoy, said he added a lot of dynamism, passion and played a significant role in strengthening the relationship leading to the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Spain in 2022.

Onyeama said: ” The Honourable Minister came and personally, on behalf of the King of Spain, presented a posthumous award of national honour to late Ambassador Demola Seriki and which was received by his wife Mrs Wosilat Seriki and son, Mr Wale Demola-Seriki.”

He added that: “This really showed not just the appreciation of the Spanish government for the excellent work that Demola has done as Ambassador of Nigeria to Spain, but also the appreciation of his personal and human qualities.”

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

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