The government of Spain has pledged to help Nigeria cope with the growing state of insecurity throughout the country.
This was stated by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, when he led a delegation to the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja last Thursday.
According to a report by The Punch, Mr. Albares noted that his first visit revolves around economic and bilateral cooperation, adding that the existing relationship between the two countries will be improved.
He said: “Nigeria is one of the great regional players, the continent’s number one economy and an absolute pillar for ECOWAS.
“My visit is to give new impetus to the already strong relationship and reaffirm President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Spain, in which five Memorandums of Understanding and three judicial cooperation treaties were signed. Thanks to the Nigerian Foreign Minister as the visit was a success.
“My visit today, first of all, is for bilateral cooperation in which we have been working successfully. The economic sphere and cooperation is the absolute center of our relationship. Spain is one of the best clients of Nigeria in the world.
“Specifically, we are the second client of Nigeria in the world. We have been one of the largest customers in oil and gas for a long time.
“We want to continue strengthening that energy relationship, but the bilateral relationship is getting deeper. Most aspects have been covered.
“Security is a common challenge for Nigeria and as a country we want to offer our support to Nigeria in this challenge. We want to officially express our solidarity with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
“We commend Nigeria’s efforts in combating violence and terrorism, and at the same time, we want to help Nigeria address the root causes of these conflicts.
“We are improving our relationship for the interests of the two countries in many other fields.”
In response, Mr. Onyeama thanked his counterpart and said that both countries will continue to work together, especially in the area of economy.
Onyeama said, “We are very close and deep economic partners. Nigeria is one of the main suppliers of oil and gas and oil to Spain. We want to diversify our economic cooperation.
“Spain is a great player in the European Union and worldwide, so we want to see more trade. We are particularly delighted that you have spoken about insecurity. Not just military security but food security.
“Spain is a great investor in Africa in the agricultural sector. Food security and agriculture are the top priorities of the Nigerian government. We are delighted to see cooperation in that area.
“We are delighted with the cooperation we have in tackling insurgency and terrorism in the Sahel. We will continue to work together with the global community to address the security challenges we face in our sub-region.”