FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey

The Federal Government (FG) has reemphasised its plan to strengthen economic relations with the Turkish government to boost trade and investment.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at the Nigeria-Turkey Business Forum organised by Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), a leading business organisation in Turkey.

The business forum was organised to pave way for both countries’ private sector entrepreneurs to transact business and enable Turkish cooperation to invest in Nigeria.

Adebayo said the event underscored the need for both political and economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that the relationship between Nigeria and Turkey dated back to 1957.

He said that the bilateral relationship had witnessed significant improvement in recent times and Turkey had become a destination and home for many Nigerians.

According to the minister, the forum has a future full of possibilities in the areas of agriculture, mining, oil and gas, textile, manufacturing, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and special economic zones development.

“The present administration understands the role of the private sector as the key driver of the economy and is committed to making Nigeria one of the most attractive countries in terms of Ease of Doing business in the world.

“Some policies have also been introduced to remove some bottlenecks in the economic development in the government’s quest to diversify the economy.

“Executive Order 001 was signed on the Ease of Doing Business with the aim of promoting transparency, accountability in the business environment,” the minister added.

He said that its implementation had positioned Nigeria as a performing country in the Ease of Doing Business tracking.

Adebayo also said that the ministry developed the Nigerian Industrial Master Plan, a strategic plan for industrialisation and also endeavoured to find where Nigeria had comparative advantage.

Earlier, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, the President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in an opening speech emphasised on how best to advance cooperations between the two countries.

Speaking on “What A Turkish-Nigerian Strategic Partnership Should Look Like,” he said that Turkey was a major defence item producer, a major shipbuilding country, and an all-round growing industrial power.

He said that Nigeria, on the other hand, required massive amounts of infrastructure development in road and rail transport, power generation, transmission and distribution, health and education.

He said Nigeria also needed technological assistance, skills development and investments in developing its oil and gas sector, particularly in petroleum refining and gas liquefaction value chain.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces requires access to modern weapons systems, especially those relevant to the new war, asymmetric warfare, counter-insurgency campaigns, trans-border banditry and tactical support for internal security forces.

“These can be purchased from Turkey for immediate and strategic supplies when needed to build a strategic relationship.

“A Turkish-Nigerian Strategic Partnership should see both countries leveraging on each other’s strengths to fortify their own vulnerabilities and preserve their independence of action,” he said.