By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, described Nigeria-Canada relations as very cordial, expressing his desire to further strengthen bilateral ties.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his remarks, Buhari underscored the warm and friendly relations between Nigeria and Canada, noting commonwealth membership of both nations and the choice of Canada for higher education by Nigerian students.
‘‘We have a lot of students in Canada. We are aware of our vital roles to keep the country together. We are eager to expand trade because you are one of the ‘biggest customers’, of Nigeria’s crude oil.
‘‘But the most important and enduring relations with Canada is education,’’ President Buhari said.
Responding, the Canadian Prime Minister described President Buhari as ‘‘a leader in Africa’’, adding that it was a pleasure to engage on regional and international issues.
‘‘Your leadership and reflection on the current situation challenging Africa but also the potentials and opportunities are something that I am very much looking up to.
‘‘Canada and Nigeria have a long-standing and deep connection and friendship, and I very much look forward to hearing your perspectives on many big issues facing not just Africa but the world’’ Trudeau said.