President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the major goals of his administration could not be effectively achieved without a cordial relationship between Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving the outgoing Ambassadors of Ethiopia and Turkey at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The President said the core policies of the administration – securing the country, fighting corruption, and reviving the economy – cannot be effectively done without good neighbourliness and deepening of the relationship with allies,” the statement read.
Buhari said Nigeria under his watch would continue to deepen relationships with her allies, particularly those with whom she shares mutually beneficial interests.
He noted that security and economic development are crucial to any country, and that was why he visited Nigeria’s immediate neighbours immediately after he assumed office in 2015.
“Security and economic development are crucial to any country, and that was why I visited our immediate neighbours once I got to office.
“I visited Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin Republic. You will spend less money on security, and deploy more resources to infrastructural development when you are in good terms with your neighbours,” Buhari was reported to have told the outgoing Ambassador of Ethiopia, Samia Gutu.
The President congratulated Ethiopia on the political stability that has been attained in the country, after a recent change of the Prime Minister.
He also offered best wishes to the Ambassador in her new assignment as head of her country’s electoral body, noting that “anything that has to do with election in developing countries is particularly challenging.”
Gutu described Nigeria and Ethiopia as “strategic partners” who have a deep relationship, adding that her over three-year stay was a period that saw the furtherance of bilateral relations between the two countries.
During the audience with Hakan Cakil of the Republic of Turkey, Buhari congratulated the outgoing Ambassador on the close relationship between the two countries and thanked Turkey for academic scholarships granted scores of young Nigerians in recent times.
He also lauded government and private investments in Nigeria in diverse areas like education, medical institutions, and others.
“We value the relationship, we will build further on it,” Buhari said.
Cakil, who was on tour of duty for about three years, noted that Nigeria was his country’s most strategic partner in sub-Saharan Africa.
“I had my first ambassadorial posting here, and I am lucky that during my time, the President of Turkey came here, and the Nigerian President was also in Turkey. I will never forget it,” he stated.
The outgoing Ambassador also wished Nigeria well as it participates at the World Cup tournament in Russia.