Wike calls for stronger ties among African countries for development

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The Federal Capital Territory, FCT , Minister , Barr. Nyesom Wike has called for stronger ties among African countries to enhance the development of the continent.

Wike made the call in Abuja on Wednesday, when the Ambassador of Cote D’Ivoire to Nigeria, His Excellency, Ambassador Kalilou Traore paid a visit in his office.

The Minister stated that increased cooperation among African countries will usher in prosperity and development at the continent level, adding that there’s also a need for cooperation among ECOWAS countries.

He said, “There is a need for us to cooperate among African countries and among ECOWAS countries to usher in economic growth and prosperity”, as he promised that the FCT will continue to work to strengthen its relationship with Cote D’Ivoire.

The Minister said, “We will continue to strengthen our relationship. Luckily, our President is the Chairman of ECOWAS. So, we will do everything possible to see that our relationship is smooth and cordial in such a way that there will be a symbiotic relationship.”

The minister commended the efforts of Cote ’D’Ivoire’s diplomatic mission to develop its land in the FCT.

He noted that he had asked that all abandoned and uncompleted structures in the territory be developed for security reasons or be revoked.

The Minister explained that the reason for asking people to develop their lands is for fighting insecurity, “we do not want to leave certain areas for miscreants, and so, we thank you for the support.”

The FCT minister, however, promised that the FCTA will waive the payment of taxes for Diplomatic Missions in the nation’s capital just as Nigeria’s diplomatic missions abroad are also exempted from taxes.

He said, “Let me also say that the issue of tax will be waived. I will call the authority that is responsible for cooperating with you on this issue. I know that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has told me that the same thing applies to them in the other countries where they operate. So, that will not be an issue.”

Earlier, the Ambassador of Cote D’Ivoire to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Kalilou Traore, disclosed that the visit was to inform the FCT Minister about the intention of the Embassy to commence the development of its land in Maitama District, in line with the directive of the FCT Administration to develop the land within a given timeframe.

“We were given two plots in Abuja; one at the Diplomatic Drive area and the other at Maitama.”

“We have built a big building in the Diplomatic Drive area, and we are about to commence the development of the plot in Maitama”, he said.

In line with the minister’s call, the Ivorian Envoy expressed the mission’s desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Nigeria, as the biggest country in the African continent and Cote D’Ivoire, the biggest among Francophone countries in Africa.

He said, “I wanted to come to you to propose twinning Abuja with the political capital of Cote D’Ivoire, that is Yamoussoukro.”

Those on the visiting team were the First Counselor of the Ivorian Embassy Mr. Cisse Karim, the Chief of Staff to the Minister, Hon. Chidi Amadi, FCTA General Counsel Barr. Salman Dako, the Secretary for Economic Planning, Revenue, Generation and PPP, Arch Ubokutom Nyah and SSA on Legal and Multilateral Cooperation, Barr. Benedict Daudu.

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