By Etuka Sunday
Nigeria has signed bilateral agreements with Pakistan to boost trade volume by $1 billion within the next few years.
The agreements were reached on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja between Jonathan and President of Pakistan, Maroon Hussain, who is on a three-day state visit to Nigeria.
The bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding meant to deepen ties between Nigeria and Pakistan cover agricultural development, industrial cooperation, cultural exchanges and trade/chambers of commerce, narcotics, anti-terrorism/security, poverty reduction and human capacity development.
Jonathan while briefing newsmen shortly after the meeting with the Pakistani leader said that despite the good relations between Nigeria and Pakistan, the volume of trade had remained low at less than $100 million.
He express his conviction that with faithful implementation of the bilateral agreements reached now, the trade volume would spike in the next few years to no less than $1 billion.
Jonathan accepted Hussain’s offer to visit Pakistan at a later date, and urged the foreign ministries, military delegations and other relevant agencies of both countries to exchange similar visits and deepen cooperation in all areas.
He thanked Pakistan for supporting Nigeria’s position at several international organisations and fora like during her quest for United Nations Non-Permanent Security Council seat; and pledged that Nigeria would reciprocate such gestures, especially as Pakistan also maintains good relations with other African countries.
The President described Hussain’s visit as important given the fact that both countries are both suffering the scourge of terror attacks, and with Nigerian government battling to rescue young schoolgirls recently abducted by terrorists in Chibok, Borno state.