The federal government has pledged to strengthen bilateral relationships with the European Union (EU).
The minister of budget and economic planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, said this at the EU-Nigeria strategic dialogue meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Bagudu expressed his enthusiasm that the dialogue happened at the take-off of the current administration in the country, for proper articulation and consolidation of priorities in their partnership.
“The current challenges in our sub-regions and the world at large are at the same time fraught with opportunities to make a difference on humanity if we all come to dialogue with honesty of purpose.
“Now, more than ever, a more coordinated response is necessary to assist us in adapting to proven systems for sustainable development and effective integration of our economy into the global system,” he said.
Mr Bagudu said within the framework of the Nigerian National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 – 2025 and the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, was the commitment to focus investments to propel Nigeria to lasting security, sustainable stability and shared prosperity.
He said that the focused investments were expected to harness the potential of Nigerians for productivity, economic growth and development.
“Being our closest continental neighbour with advanced political systems, economic prosperity, it is in our mutual interest for Europe to support our efforts in harnessing demographic dividends.
“In this vein, the array of topics for discussion today is expected to highlight opportunities and initiatives for knowledge transfers, and technical assistance, especially in the digital sector for elaboration of legal frameworks.
“Investments for expansion of local capacities and jobs creation.
“Collaboration on environment, climate change, circular economy, climate-smart agriculture and biodiversity including options in harnessing the abundant gas reserves in our country, better management of migration flows and fiscal sustainability,” Mr Bagudu said.
The minister added that the meeting would also discuss curtailing terrorism, banditry, oil theft, illegal fishery, and piracy, among other security issues in the North/Lake Chad, the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
Mr Bagudu said the dialogue would also look into addressing the challenges to food security and the global humanitarian issues arising from the Russian-Ukraine crisis and the Middle East; among others.
The EU commissioner of international partnership, Juffa Urpilainen, reinstated their support for the country.
She stated that the EU had been actively participating in the country’s development and that they had the best interests of the country at heart.