REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI DURING THE OPENING OF THE BILATERAL TALKS ON THE BI-NATIONAL COMMISSION WITH PRESIDENT MATAMELA CYRIL RAMAPHOSA OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA PRETORIA, THURSDAY 3RD OCTOBER, 2019
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great honour to co-chair this inaugural meeting of our Bi-National Commission at the level of Heads of State. This is a clear manifestation of the Special Relationship between our two countries.
I and my delegation are extremely grateful for the very warm fraternal reception extended to us on our arrival in your beautiful country. I also thank you for the excellent arrangements made for this meeting.
I would like to commend our Senior Officials and Ministers for their hard work and the high quality documentation prepared for our meeting.
We, in Nigeria, value the warm fraternal relations binding our two countries and cherish our Special Relationship. We consider South Africa an ally and a strategic partner.
There exist 32 agreements and MoUs signed between Nigeria and South Africa and we need to implement those that have come into force, as well as to expedite necessary action to ratify the seven outstanding agreements that have not yet been brought into force.
I welcome the robust Defence Cooperation between Nigeria and South Africa, and call for more support and solidarity with us in our fight against terrorism and violent extremism. We also welcome the increased collaboration against arms and drug trafficking, money laundering and human trafficking.
We are committed to greater cooperation to address the economic challenges facing the people of our two countries, especially with regard to unemployment which we believe is at the root of so much youth restiveness and radicalization.
We are pleased to inform you that our Government has made doing business in Nigeria easier through the Ease of Doing Business Initiative to open up more opportunities for investors in Nigeria. We call on the Government of South Africa to also take steps to ease the doing of business in the country, and open up its market space for Nigerian businessmen and women.
In this context, we are gratified that a Nigeria-South Africa Business Forum has been organized in the frame work of this State visit.
Mr. President, we have condemned in the strongest terms, attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals living in South Africa, the looting of their shops and businesses and burning of their properties.
We call for the strengthening and implementation of all the necessary measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such action which threatens to undermine, not only our strong bilateral relations but also, what we stand for in the context of our vision for a strong and prosperous Africa we want.
We also condemned the very few incidents of retaliatory attacks on South African businesses in Nigeria. I am happy to report that we took strong and decisive measures to stop the attacks and prevent any recurrence.
Nigeria is committed to strengthening the monitoring and implementation mechanism of the Bi-national Commission between our two countries to ensure the timely execution of our decisions and the achievement of the goals of our Commission;
Finally, we are determined on our part to sustain the renewed vigour of the strategic partnership between Nigeria and South Africa, anchored on regular consultation, collaboration and cooperation.
I thank you for your attention.