Samia bolsters TZ, Nigeria ties

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan on Monday participated at the swearing-in ceremony of the Nigeria President Bola Tinubu (71) in the country’s capital, Abuja.

At the well-attended ceremony, President Tinubu pledged to restore hope by working beyond in improving the economic and security conditions to unite the nation and ensure fairness and justice prevailed among all the groups.

“Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption, while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies,” said President Tinubu.

In the pledge, he said the country’s foreign policy objective will be molded to ensure peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent as a whole.

President Samia attendance at the swearing in event, once again signifies strong relations between Tanzania and Nigeria.

Reports show that Tanzania and Nigeria have enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations since the two countries attained independence in 1961 and 1960 respectively. Thereafter, Nigeria High Commission was opened in Dar es Salaam in 1962 and the East African nation did the same in Abuja in 1971.

The bilateral relations between the two countries are hinged upon shared vision, mission and values in the international arena, where Nigeria and Tanzania played significant roles in the decolonisation of the African continent.

Data from Economic Complexity Rankings in 2021 indicated that Tanzania exported 25.2 million US dollars (around 59bn/-) to Nigeria and imported 1 million US dollars (equivalent to 2.3bn/-) from the West African country.

The main products exported from Tanzania to Nigeria were equine and bovine hides, tanned equine and bovine hides, and coconut and other vegetable fibers.

The report also revealed that during the last 25 years the exports of Tanzania to Nigeria increased at an annualised rate of 20.4 per cent, from 240,000 US dollars in 1996 to 25.2 million US dollars in 2021.

However, the main products imported from Nigeria to Tanzania were float glass, non-fillet frozen fish, and calculators. During the last 26 years the imports of Nigeria to Tanzania have increased at an annualised rate of 9.3 per cent, from 108,000 US dollars in 1995 to 1 million US dollars in 2021.

Whereas the historical and philosophical foundations of Tanzania-Nigeria diplomatic relations are nested in the spirit of Pan-Africanism, Africa Union and non-aligned movement stances in pursuit of foreign policy. The contemporary bilateral relation between the two countries is pegged on promoting tourism and cooperation in judicial, technical and military areas as well as trade and investment.

Recently, Tanzanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Benson Bana, expressed the government’s commitment to boost the volume of trade with the country to promote intra-Africa trade.

Mr Bana said this while speaking with journalists at the sidelines of the Tanzania-Nigeria Tourism, Investment and Trade (TN-TIT) forum.

“Basically, our bilateral cooperation is flexible in terms of volume of trade, so we are struggling to increase the balance of trade and also promote more Tanzanian products in the Nigerian market.

“How do we do that? We are entering the digital age, the 21st century of science and technology, so we are thinking especially of youths to start interacting and to do big business bilaterally.

“We are talking of the digital economy; it is our desire to make sure that the relationship between the two countries translates into deliverables and that such deliverables are tangible,” said Ambassador Bana.

He added: “The goal is to further create more access into the Nigerian market to promote intra-Africa trade. This was the philosophy behind the founding of the African Union after achieving political independence; the next gain was to achieve economic freedom.”

He explained that African nations were not there yet, on grounds that their economies were still integrated into a capitalist economy system, saying they have to depart from such.

“While we are watching, we should stop being spectators to become active players and not amateurs, but professional players.

“We can achieve that if we promote intra-African trading relationship, to inform on our foreign policies and economic diplomacy,” Mr Bana said.

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