The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has stressed the need for closer bilateral ties between Abuja and Brussels towards mutual economic advancement of Nigeria and Belgium.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, stated this when the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dirk Verheyen, paid him a courtesy call at the FCTA.
Represented by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Engr. John Chukwu, the minister disclosed that the visit was to discuss modalities for the impending visit of a 60-man Belgian trade mission to Nigeria between 4th and 6th of June, 2014 to explore closer bilateral relation between Nigeria and Belgium.
He noted the fact that Nigeria’s relationship with Belgium dates back in time, just as he traced it to the time of scramble and partition of Africa when Belgium played a leading role.
According to him, Abuja, as the seat of the Nigerian Federal Government, plays important role in the political and economic life of the nation.
Mohammed also used the opportunity of the visit to intimate the Ambassador about the forthcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting, which is holding in Abuja next week.
He added that the world would be converging in Abuja to discuss issues that have to do with economic development and cooperation among countries.
Earlier, the Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Dirk Verheyen briefed the Permanent Secretary on the purpose and objective of the trade mission.
He described Nigeria as the most important African country adding Belgium would be excited to have closer ties with the country.
According to the Ambassador, 60 Belgian companies would be coming to Nigeria as part of the trade mission, out of which about 15 of the companies are particularly interested in coming to the FCT.
The envoy stressed that they have special interest to interact with FCTA officials, adding that some of them are interested in the health, transportation and construction sectors of the FCT economy.
He however expressed regret that bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Belgium has not been as robust as it ought to be.