Minster of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim, has urged the international donor and partner agencies not to relent in their support for Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation for the economic and infrastructure development of the two countries.
The Minister made this appeal during the donor Round table Conference on Financing the development of Cross-border Trade Corridor Between Nigeria and Niger Republic held on Thursday in Abuja.
While expressing her appreciation, on behalf of our two governments to the development partners that have so far supported this laudable programme at different stages of the evolution of the programme, she urged them to do more to deepen development in the two countries.
“The World Bank, through the Programme for Competiveness and Growth Support(PRACC) of Niger; the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) in Niger and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) deserve our commendation for their continuous support, mostly on Niger Republic side. We look forward for your increased assistance to the programme, for it to fully realize its goals,” she said.
She noted that the development was in response to the 2005 food crisis in the Sahel, particularly in Niger, which brought to the fore the important link between food security and cross-border trade in agro-pastoral products. She added that the age old social and cultural links especially, the long history of trade relations along the three cities of Kano,Katsina and Maradi also underscore the study.
“It is heartening to underscore the fact that 2 more corridors have evolved along the border of our two countries notably the Jigawa-Kano-Daura-Zinder and Sokoto-Zamfara- Kebbi-Dosso Tahou axis as a result of the success recorded in the implementation of the K2M Pilot Programme.
“It is equally noteworthy that two newly evolved corridors are being supported by the international Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) of Niger Republic and the German International Cooperation (GIZ), with Niger Republic being the predominant area of intervention by these development partners,” she said.
The Secretary General of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission For Cooperation, Rabiu Akawu, while fielding questions from reporters said that the donor agencies and development partners usually come together to look at the list of the economic and infrastructure challenges adding that they put themselves together and address the challenges that the two countries have.
“That is the reason we are urging them to come to Nigeria, because there will be migration from the other side to the greener areas to make it more complete and meaningful. We are pleading with them to look at the way of Nigeria. Don’t forget that Nigeria and Niger have a borderline of more than 1,500 kilometers. And in doing what we have to do we are ensuring that everybody in the sub region will benefit,” he said.
Innocent Odoh, Abuja
Tags: Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission