Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Government, yesterday, expressed its commitment to increasing trade volumes with the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, gave the assurance in Abuja while speaking during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Stef Blok.

Onyeama recalled the official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Netherlands earlier in the year and the memorandum of understanding signed during the visit.

Onyeama said what came out during the visit was that both countries should work towards having excellent relations, particularly in trade relation.

Onyeama further said the Netherlands is one of the major investors in Nigeria, while also noting the long tradition of close economic ties between the Netherlands and Nigeria.

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He said the federal government appreciated very much, the visit it undertook to the Netherlands and is committed to increasing the level of trade between both countries.

“We appreciated very much, the visit we undertook to the Netherlands and we are committed to ensure to increase the level of trade between our two countries.

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“And of course, we also have people-to-people ties between our two countries. A number of Nigerians in the diaspora are based in the Netherlands and of course, a number of Dutch companies doing business here as well,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama also expressed the appreciation of the federal government to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for its support in the nation’s challenges, particularly in the area of terrorism.

He equally thanked the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the support in the humanitarian challenges that have arisen as a result of terrorists and security challenges confronting  the country.

Onyeama further acknowledged the different agreements that both countries have signed, saying that looking forward as agreed during the last visit, both countries will maintain and strengthen bi-national exchanges and use that as a framework and a platform to maintain constant and regular dialogue and build  economic, social and cultural relations between the two countries.

Responding, Blok said the visit was her first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa, saying that Nigeria held a lot of purpose for the first visit.

Blok affirmed that both countries have very strong traditionally economic ties and people-to-people bond, noting that both countries face quite a number of common challenges such as the fight against terrorism on a wide scale.

“So, our close cooperation is very much needed. We have both interest of regulating migration so that human traffickers and human abuse can be fought in an effective way and we appreciate the regional role that Nigeria is playing in a complicated region where you are showing your leadership,” Blok said.

On its recent announcement to increase diplomatic presence in Nigeria, Bloc said it was as a result of the common opportunities and challenges both countries share.