The takeaways, As Moroccan Delegation Visits Nigeria, By Chukwudi Enekwechi
Recently, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI was in Nigeria for a state visit in reprocity to President Muhammadu Buhari’s earlier visit to the North African country. The fanfare that greeted the Moroccan King’s visit was loud and unprecedented in the annals of our bilateral relations with other African countries, and Morocco in particular.
Perhaps we can attribute the success of the visit which came with several gains for Nigeria to the visionary leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who since assumption of office has deployed all diplomatic arsenals towards winning global friendship for Nigeria.
Nigeria as a country stands to gain immensely from the visit considering the vantage position of Morocco as a prosperous country with stable leadership which has translated into technological know-how and economic boom.
It is therefore noteworthy that Nigeria and Morocco signed a number of landmark agreements during the King’s visit. One of such agreements is on fertilizer production as a Moroccan company; OCP in partnership with Dangote Group will establish a fertilizer plant in Nigeria. This has the potential to serve Nigeria’s fertilizer needs, and the whole of West Africa, as well as boost agricultural production in the country.
Both countries also signed a Bilateral Air Services Agreement which will enable both countries have direct flights with each other. This particular agreement is significant in that it will reduce incidences of death and other harrowing experiences which Nigerian travellers experience in the course of travelling illegally through the Sahara desert.
During the visit, Nigeria also signed a bilateral agreement with Morocco on marine fisheries cooperation. This agreement will boost Nigeria’s marine potentials, more so as large expanse of navigational waters have remained largely unexplored due to lack of requisite technology.
Morocco is famous for having several decades of technological know-how in fish packaging, especially the popular “sardine” which is consumed in high quantity in Nigeria. Of course the agreement on agriculture will positively impact our nation’s food security, as it will ultimately reduce food imports and avail Nigerian farmers with modern technology in agricultural production.
OCP the Moroccan company with focus on fertilizer production has successfully made impact in Ethiopia where bumper yields have been reported with the use of fertilizer manufactured by it.
It is pertinent to point out that the fertilizer to be produced in Nigeria by the Moroccan company will be suitable for Nigerian soil, and will lead to increased agricultural activity that will contribute tangibly to the country’s gross domestic product.
An agreement was also signed between both the Moroccan agency on sustainable energy and its Nigerian counterpart.
While the state visit by the Moroccan king has come and gone, the memory will continue to linger in our minds as President Buhari through calculated and deft diplomatic moves has continued to win international goodwill and respect for Nigeria.
These achievements in the diplomatic arena are not surprising as his experience of a leader with vision and mission to reposition Nigeria, not only as a regional leader in the West African sub region, but as a major global economic and political player.
Having attained a significant mileage on the three planks of his administration namely economy, security and fight against corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari is currently exploring new areas to give all Nigerians wider opportunities to grow and expand their businesses.
Another important agreement signed during the visit was between UBA, a Nigerian bank and its Moroccan counterpart, and this is aimed at facilitating the huge business transactions to commence between the two countries.
On the whole the meeting between King Mohammed VI of Morocco and President Buhari was intended to facilitate and strengthen bilateral and economic relations between the two friendly countries, and this will greatly impact on trade and oil and gas sector.
Chukwudi Enekwechi, Journalist and Politician, writes from Abuja and can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.