By Deborah Coker
The Federal Government has expressed readiness to deepen bilateral relations with European Union (EU) on security cooperation.
The Minister of Defence, Mr Mohammed Badaru, said this in a statement by the Acting Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Defence, Mr Hope Attari, on Thursday in Abuja.
Badaru disclosed this when he received the delegation of the European External Actions Service ( EEAS), on Wednesday, at the Ship House.
He said that Nigeria as a nation was desirous of restoring partnership with EU and strengthening collaboration with the union in fighting violent extremism, maintaining peace and security as well as enhancing regional cooperation .
He noted that the country needed intelligence and security equipment from the EU to combat insecurity in the country.
According to him, the major challenges facing the country were banditry in the North West and North Central, Boko Haram in the North East, Oil vandalism in the South South, sectional agitation in South East and general insecurity at the Gulf of Guinea and the Lake Chad region.
Similarly, the Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Bello Matawalle, said that Nigeria as the “Giant of Africa” needed the cooperation of the EU in the fight against insecurity bedeviling the country.
He noted that the safety of Nigeria was the safety of Africa, and therefore called for cooperation of the EU in the fight against insecurity in the country.
Earlier, the Head of the delegation, Deputy Secretary General of the EEAS, Helena Konig, said the purpose of the visit was to seek Nigeria’s area of priorities in terms of security issues where the EU could intervene.
Konig added that the priority areas would be discussed extensively at the forth coming high ministerial meeting.
According to her, EU wants to work extensively with Nigeria in counter terrorism, to stabilise the region, considering that the country was a strong supporter in maintaining the Africa territorial region. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Idris Abdulrahman