The Second Session of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission began in Abuja, Nigeria today, October 3, with the Nigeria’s minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada expressing a strong commitment to further boost the existing historical ties between Nigeria and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The First Session of the Commission was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 11th -12th March 2013. The second session was supposed to have been held two years later but could not take place until now due to a number of reasons, including the recent COVID19 pandemic.
Speaking at the opening o the session, the minister said that the outcome of the Joint Commission meeting would uplift and further strengthen all aspects of the long-standing bilateral cooperation for the mutual benefits of both countries.
“It is pertinent to recall that our two friendly countries signed the General Agreement for Cooperation between them on the 20th October 2003 in order to promote mutually beneficial cooperation for both parties. This birthed the establishment of the Nigeria-Saudi Joint Commission.”
Zubairu Dada hailed the far-reaching socio-economic transformation currently taking place in the Kingdom under Vision 2030, saying that Nigeria is similarly pursuing a number of reforms aimed at liberalising and digitalising the economy, as well as creating more opportunities for Nigerian women and teeming youth aimed at paving the way for a more sustainable future.
He also commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the successful conduct of the 2022 Hajj operation, the first after the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that Nigeria looked forward to the return of full normalcy in the conduct of the pilgrimage in 2023.
“We believe that our collective endeavours would positively impact on Nigeria-Saudi relations with a view to raising them to a strategic level.
“We thank the Kingdom for hosting the First Session of the Commission in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 11th -12th March 2013. The 2nd Session which was supposed to have been held two years later could not take place until now due to a number of reasons, including the recent pandemic. It can further be recalled that during the First Session, a number of MoUs and Agreements covering various aspects of bilateral cooperation were signed by the two sides.
“By hosting the 2nd Session of the Joint Commission today, Nigeria which attaches great importance to her relations with the Kingdom is demonstrating her strong and unwavering commitment to further boost and elevate the existing historical ties binding our two countries to a new height.
“We hereby also affirm our determination to ensure that these relations are transformed into a win-win partnership for our mutual benefits.”
Zubairu Dada assured the Saudi Arabian delegation of Nigeria’s full commitment and cooperation throughout the meeting to ensure that the 2nd Session of the Joint Commission is successful.
He said that both countries and people were eager for the session to produce the desired positive outcome which will bring a new era in Nigeria-Saudi cooperation as we also create the necessary mechanism for the implementation of the agreed frameworks with minimum delay.
On his part, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Bin Sakeh Al-Khamshi, said the meeting came as an extension of what both countries agreed upon during the first session of the Committee aimed at developing relations between both countries.