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Terrorism: Tinubu Calls for Strengthened Cooperation with France

President Bola Tinubu has called for improved cooperation between Nigeria and France to address the prevailing threat of terrorism.

This was as he commended the outgoing French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, for her dedication to enhancing relations between France and Nigeria.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, disclosed details of the conversation in a statement he signed late Friday titled ‘President Tinubu calls for strengthened cooperation with France to combat terrorism.’

Nigeria is France’s leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, and the fourth-largest in the continent, behind Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

In 2021, Nigeria accounted for 20 per cent of France’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa, amounting to €3.53bn. France has a bilateral trade deficit of €2.3bn.

In April of that year, the French minister of foreign trade and economic attractiveness, Franck Riester, visited Nigeria on a two-day bilateral mission.

At a meeting with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, he disclosed that the volume of trade between France and Nigeria dropped to $2.3bn in 2020 from $4.5bn in 2019.

At the farewell meeting, President Tinubu urged Blatmann to leverage her new role as Director for Africa in the French Foreign Ministry to advocate the urgent need to ”upgrade technical cooperation” between Nigeria and France to defeat terrorism and violent extremism.

”You have been excellent in promoting bilateral relations between both countries in the areas of economy, trade, education, arts, and culture.

“Thank you for the hard work you have done in Nigeria and for President Macron to appoint you to a new position as Africa Director, it is a testament that you excelled in your assignment in our country.

”You will always be welcomed in Nigeria. On regional security, we want you to remind Paris at every opportunity that it is necessary to upgrade our technical cooperation in our joint efforts to defeat terrorism and counter violent extremism in the region,” he said.

Reflecting on her tour of duty in Nigeria, Ambassador Blatmann shared notable achievements, highlighting France’s significant investments and remarkable increase in bilateral trade.

According to her, France is among the top foreign investors in Nigeria, with over $10bn in investment stock, and with bilateral trade increasing by 51 percent in 2021 and 2022.

Blattman said, ”We are also one of the biggest development partners with over €3bn invested over the last decade by AFD and PROPARCO. AFD now operates in 26 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

” Ever since I arrived here in October 2021, it has been a series of wonderful discoveries and amazing encounters.

“I will definitely take away with me the energy and creativity of this country that will forever guide me and fuel my afro-optimism.”

She acknowledged Nigeria’s pivotal role in regional security and stability, emphasising the close collaboration between France, Nigeria and other key partners in fostering sustainable international peace, security, and development.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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