The European Union (EU) says it intends to work with Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, to build a mutually beneficial relationship with Nigeria.
Samuela Isopi, EU ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), spoke on Tuesday during the celebration of Europe Day in Abuja.
Isopi said the EU is Nigeria’s biggest trading partner and is looking forward to working with the new administration for further gains.
“A democratic, peaceful, strong, and prosperous Nigeria is in the interest of Europe and the world,” she said.
“The EU is already Nigeria’s biggest trading partner, accounting for more than 20 percent of Nigerian trade with the world and a significant trade balance in favour of Nigeria.
“The EU is also Nigeria’s first partner in foreign direct investments with an estimated foreign direct investment stock of over 30 billion euros.
“EU companies contribute to the economic diversification and growth, to job creation and wealth generation. We are keen to do more together.”
Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, said the EU remains a model of growth for Nigeria.
He said the EU proved global opinions wrong by becoming a stronger institution of great repute after Brexit.
“The transformation of all the member states is the model Nigeria and Africa want to emulate, by having a conflict-free Africa,” he said.
Onyeama said the EU and Nigeria share values such as multilateralism and rules-based order, adding that “we are both enriched by unity in diversity” bound by shared values and by a common interest to work even more closely together.
He said the union would strengthen the fight against violent extremism and insecurity in the north-east of the country, in West Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea.
The minister added that the partnership between the EU and the incoming administration will “further boost our trade, investment, digital and energy cooperation from supporting the continuous deepening of Nigeria’s growing democracy”