Buhari calls for intensive economic engagement with Italy
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called for more intensive trade and economic engagement between Nigeria and Italy.
With over a hundred Italian businesses in Nigeria spanning over six decades, trade volume between the two countries in the last one-year is put at over $3 billion.
Speaking during a courtesy call by Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari described the connection between Nigeria and Italy as very strong, and urged, however, that efforts should be made to make it stronger and more secure.
According to a statement by presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, President Buhari commended the resilience of Italian businesses in Nigeria and expressed happiness that new businesses were in line to be set up in the country.
He also commended Italian support for government in tackling the humanitarian situation in the North East and the training they were giving Nigerian policemen.
Gentiloni, who was accompanied by the Italian minister of state for interior, Domenico Manzione, said his government’s $10 million humanitarian assistance to the Lake Chad region countries was in addition to what they were already doing. This is within the framework of the European Union.
He said the visit of the business group on his delegation was a fulfilment of the promise made by Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, during his visit in February, to strengthen relations with Nigeria politically and economically.
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