The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Hellenic Republic of Greece to strengthen bilateral ties, Nigeria’s economy diversification, and security among others.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, signed the MoU alongside his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias on Monday in Abuja.
Onyeama said the renewal of bilateral ties between both countries was timely as Nigeria is looking for new partners to engage with and new areas to explore to boost its economy.
“As we seek to diversify our economy, to industrialise our country, we look to new partners to help us in this part.
“Your visit could not be more opportune because Greece is a country with a thousand years of history and civilisation, the basis of global world civilisation, and today a very powerful, prosperous and influential country.
“As we seek to diversify our economy, to attract more investments, we see Greece as a country that can provide a win-win trade relationship and cultural relationship between our two countries.
“We are going to sign an MoU that will also help to provide a framework for us to build and strengthen the relationship between our two countries.
“Already, we have good relations with you in training of military personnel and some of our military have benefitted from training programmes,” he said.
Onyeama added that Nigeria would also leverage on its relations with Greece, which as an influential member of the European Union to engage with other countries in the European continent.
He said that Nigeria and Greece have a long relationship which dates back to over a century and the renewal of the ties would help address the challenges of present times.
“Greeks and Nigerians have a very strong history going back over a century with Greek traders that have come to our country and have really made a huge impact to the economy of our country
“So we have a very strong basis to build on this bond between our two countries, to re-dynamise the relationship in this 21st Century faced with new challenges,” Onyeama said.
Dendias described the event as historic as it was the first time a Greek Minister was visiting Nigeria to build on the already existing bilateral ties.
He pledged to sustain the relations, which he said would be of mutual benefit to both countries.
“We very much appreciate that Africa is the fastest growing economy in the world, that Nigeria is the biggest economy in sub- Saharan Africa.
“We are not that big but we are a proud member of the European Union and we see ourselves as being able to facilitate communication between Europe, Africa and Nigeria.
“So for me being here in Abuja today in the name of my government and Prime Minister who sends his regards is the right place to start 2022.
“There is a long list of agreements we are working on and we are hoping we will be able to conclude shortly,” Dendias said.
The Greek Foreign Minister commended the Ambassadors of both countries who made the meeting and signing of the MoU a reality.