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Nigeria, the Netherlands pledge to strengthen trade, investment and security ties

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Prime Minister Mark Rutte met on Tuesday in Abuja to discuss bilateral relations and agreed that Nigeria and the Netherlands would continue to work together to improve bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments.

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting said the two leaders reviewed the progress that has been made with implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on deepening the bilateral relations between the two nations concluded and signed by the respective Foreign Ministers in The Hague in July 2018.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 3. President Muhammadu. Buhari (M) flanked by the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Ben Van Beurden, Minister of State Petroleum Resources, H.E Timipre sylva. Others are Chief of Staff Mallam Abba Kyari, GMD NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, SGF Mr Boss Mustapha, Peter Costello, Mr John Crocker MD/CEO Shell Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor and Mr Bashir Bello during a meeting at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. NOV 26 2019

‘‘We welcome the steps that have been made to increase bilateral economic cooperation and are happy to see higher levels of bilateral trade volumes as well as private sector investments, ’’ the communiqué signed by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Oji Ngofa and the Deputy Head of Mission, Netherlands Embassy in Abuja, Ewout-Jan de Wit said.

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‘‘The contribution of Dutch private businesses, both global players and small, micro and medium enterprises, to the Nigerian economy is duly noted.

‘‘Investments by the Netherlands Investment Bank FMO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund are contributing to better access to finance and energy for the private sector.

‘‘Nigeria confirms its commitment to continuing reforms for a conducive business and investment environment while the Netherlands pledges to continue assisting Nigeria for an increase in agricultural productivity especially horticulture, seed, and sustainable palm oil production,’’ it added.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 1 President Muhammadu. Buhari (M) flanked by the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Ben Van Beurden and Minister of State Petroleum Resources, H.E Timipre sylva during a meeting at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. NOV 26 2019

President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte also reiterated their commitment to the fight against human trafficking, appreciating the close collaboration between both countries in supporting the victims.

Noting with concern the challenging security situation in the West-African sub-region and Nigeria, The Netherlands acknowledged the sustained efforts of Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and in countering violent extremism.

‘‘The Netherlands will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, in particular women and girls, in order to mitigate the impact of insecurity and displacement,’’ the communiqué said.

Prime Minister Rutte, who is on a two-day working visit to Nigeria is leading a trade delegation of 8 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Dutch multinationals currently operating in Nigeria with huge investment portfolios in the agriculture, finance, oil and gas sectors. 

After the bilateral consultations between delegations of both countries, President Buhari and Prime Minister Rutte witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on dairy chain development between Royal FrieslandCampina WAMCO and the Government of Niger State.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 2A. R-L; Minister of State Petroleum Resources, H.E Timipre sylva, President Muhammadu. Buhari, CEO of Royal Dutch =Shell Plc, Mr Ben Van Beurden, GMD NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, Mr John Crocker MD/CEO Shell Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor during a meeting at the State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. NOV 26 2019

The MoU was signed by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Mr Ben Langat, Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc. 

The agreement on dairy chain development is expected to save Nigeria about 1.2 billion dollars from milk importation annually.

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