Nigeria, Jamaica to strengthen relations

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Both Jamaica and Nigeria are seeking to strengthen their relationship, through trade, air services and culture.

Newly appointed Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Janet Omoleegho Olisa, told JIS News that the two countries are finalising a bilateral agreement.

“What we have started is a bilateral agreement. We have one which is just general so we are trying to fine-tune it and to find what is really important for both countries. We are hoping that by the end of the year, we will have a joint bilateral commission meeting,” she said.

She noted that Nigeria and Jamaica are also working on an air service agreement to improve air linkages between the two countries, so that commercial carriers can operate.

The High Commissioner said that emphasis will be placed on improving trade between the two countries, noting that “not much is happening in that area.”

“What I am really interested in is the direct trade between Jamaica and Nigeria,” she added, noting that Jamaican rum and wine, which come from other countries, are in the Nigerian market.

She said that one of the main concerns from the business community is transportation between Jamaica and Nigeria.

“It is not that far if you have a direct flight, but we don’t have a direct flight. Nigeria doesn’t have a carrier. The bilateral service agreement will enable private airline companies to operate,” she pointed out.
The Commissioner said she has held several meetings with Government Ministers, heads of agencies, as well as representatives of the private sector over the past months to explore opportunities for greater trade and business linkages between the two countries.

Meetings were also held with representatives of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“We are trying to find out how we can work together and to get the ball rolling,” the High Commissioner said.

Additionally, she said there are plans to strengthen the cultural ties with Jamaica, noting that Nigeria has an estimated population of 170 million people, 285 tribes and over 500 distinct languages.

“I have been working with a lot of schools. We have been getting so many requests from schools,” she said, adding that members of the High Commission have been giving talks on Nigeria’s culture and showcasing its artefacts.

The High Commissioner presented her Letters of Credence to the Governor- General Sir Patrick L Allen, on September 18.

Jamaica and Nigeria established diplomatic ties on April 29, 1970.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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