Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday reaffirmed his administration’s determination to facilitate and encourage the rapid diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
Speaking at an audience with the outgoing Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Nigeria, Mr. Jaroslav Siro, in the capital city of Abuja, President Jonathan declared that his administration was fully committed to moving the Nigerian economy away from dependence on crude oil exports by promoting the development of the country’s non-oil sectors.
A presidency statement quoted the President as saying in keeping with this commitment, the federal government was actively exploring all avenues of boosting trade and economic relations with other countries in areas not related to the oil and gas sector.
“With current developments in the world, we are more interested in diversifying our economy, not in over-emphasising oil and gas exports. Our intention is to move our country away from being a mono-product economy that depends primarily on oil exports. We are fully committed, therefore, to boosting non-oil trade relations with other nations,” he told the outgoing Ambassador.
President Jonathan commended Ambassador Siro, who has served in Nigeria for over five years, for his efforts to enhance bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Czech Republic which resulted in the tripling of the volume of trade between the two countries.
Although the Czech Republic does not import crude oil from Nigeria, the annual volume of non-oil trade between the two countries currently stands at about US$100 million.
Ambassador Siro told President Jonathan that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at the further strengthening trade and economic cooperation between the Czech Republic and Nigeria was currently being finalised.
He disclosed that his country’s Minister of Trade would soon visit Nigeria to sign the MoU and attend a meeting of the Nigeria-Czech Republic Bi-National Commission.