…Turkey, an emerging country in military power, military equipment, technological expertise, says Katsina Governor

From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Republic of Turkey, has disclosed that T-129 ATAK helicopters are ready for onward delivery to Nigeria.

Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, who made the disclosure during the Turkish 100th National Day in Abuja, said within the context of Türkiye’s partnership policy with Africa, Nigeria held a key position.

Bayraktar also said being the most populous country and the largest economy of Africa, Nigeria is a rising power in the African region.

“Our relations with Nigeria, which was established in 1960, developed on a basis of friendship and mutual benefit.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former President Muhammadu Buhari, have paid mutual visits in 2021. These reciprocal high level visits provided the opportunity to underline our shared goal of strengthening our bilateral ties in every field. We sincerely believe that we will continue to build reinforced partnership with Nigerian Government which was newly established after the election process in last February.

“The challenges Nigeria and its immediate region face today such as terrorism and organized crime, are not just local problems of the region, but subject to international concern. Türkiye supports Nigeria in her fight against terrorism and climate change and is ready to undertake the necessary responsibility to contribute to Nigeria’s efforts. Similarly, we expect from all our friendly and brotherly countries, including Nigeria, to show more solidarity in our fight against terrorist organisations, including FETÖ.

“Besides from that, our bilateral trade and economic cooperation trend upwards. Furthermore, our cooperation in the field of defence industry is improving.

“Minister of Defence, Badaru Abubakar paid a visit to Türkiye this week and met with Yaşar Güler, Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Türkiye.

“We are glad about the ongoing cooperation on T-129 ATAK helicopters and other deals in the field of defence industry. First of two Offshore Patrol Vessels constructed by Dearsan Shipyards for the Nigerian Navy was launched yesterday in Gebze, Türkiye. The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla also attended and honoured this event.

“I am so happy to inform that delivery of the first batch of T-129 ATAK helicopters is planned to be handed over next week. We also have a model of said helicopter. Turkish aerospace company was kind enough to send this model to our Embassy for exhibition,” Bayraktar said.

The Turkish envoy further said Turkish investors show a growing interest in Nigeria, adding  that there were more than one hundred Turkish companies operating in Nigeria, providing jobs and contributing to the economy in Nigeria.
According  to Bayraktar, “Turkish Airlines flies to Abuja and Lagos nine times a week in total.

“We attach utmost importance to the cultural, educational and humane dimensions of our relations. In our country, last year, 3,669 Nigerian students were studying in higher education. Some of these students benefit from the scholarship our Government grants every year to foreign students studying in Türkiye. We have Yunus Emre Institute in Abuja to introduce the Turkish culture and provide Turkish courses to Nigerian people. On the other hand, Türkiye provides humanitarian and development assistance to Nigeria on a regular basis.”

Also speaking, the Governor of Katsina State, Dikko Umar Radda, said Nigeria and Turkey have very long historical relations.
Radda also said Turkey is one of the emerging countries that have military power and military equipment and technological expertise in tackling insecurity.

“And I think tapping experience from them, especially on technical support and expertise, I think it will go a long way in helping us to curb insecurity in my state,” Radda said.

Radda further said Turkey is one of the emerging economies in the world and there is need for Nigeria to key into the economic activities in Turkey for the benefit of both countries.

He recalled the various trade exchanges between Turkey and Nigeria, especially in the area of agricultural commodity,  which he said, Katsina State can key in.
“Most of the crops that we produce and the needed crops in Turkey, are crops that can be grown in my state and I think this is a better opportunity,” Radda also said.

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