October 26, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

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Sweden to prioritise diplomatic relations with Nigeria – Envoy

By Fortune Abang

The Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria says the country will prioritise investment on successes so far recorded in the 60-years of diplomatic ties with Nigeria.

The Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Carl-Michael Gräns, said this in Abuja on Thursday night, while addressing newsmen at the sideline of exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of Sweden-Nigeria bilateral relations.

According to him, the whole 60 years was very broad in terms of political engagement, commercial and cultural exchange.

Gräns said: “We can really improve, after COVID-19 pandemic, there have a been slow-down, now is time to restart, to relate and to travel again.

“We need economic recovery, we need investment, we need to do business with each other, so we have been planning a few events coming up in Lagos, moreso, one in Stockholm in Spring next year.

“The pandemic has really shown us that we need to digitalise our society and one critical sector is education, so e-learning is one of them and we talk about education-technology company.

“Indeed, we have a new educational solution coming-up to facilitate education for all, we have new companies, actually they are really corporation from the beginning.

“We try to get the market in Nigeria, to facilitate education through digital platforms, new apps, it is quite interesting.”

He commended Nigeria@61, urging Nigeria to partner Sweden in different ways, despite location of both countries far away from each other geographically.

He further said that with digital technology world, both countries could get closer digitally in different ways, such as deepening economic ties, diplomatic trade and culture.

Also speaking, Amb. Akinremi Bolaji, the Director Consular and Legal Department, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that both Nigeria and Sweden have to work closely with each other to achieve targets.

According to him, one might say Nigeria has a lot to do, but if Nigeria does its best and there is no equivalent effort from Swedish side, it will not yield any result.

“What I have seen is both are committed, ready to work on it; Sweden was the first to open embassy in Nigeria and every of the High Official and Permanent Secretary have visited Nigeria, the same can be said of Nigeria.

“It is very important for the two countries to value each other, it is also important for them to identify their strength and weakness,” Bolaji said.

In separate interview, Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, said that partnership between Nigeria and Sweden has become important to drive growth in the country.

“Nigeria on the one hand and Sweden on the other hand in area of ICT, digital economy or telecommunication has been there for some years.

“Last year Sweden supported Nigeria through high level training for some staff in the ministry and parastatals.

“Partnership between Nigeria and Sweden in the area of digital technology has been a win-win one for both nations,” Pantami said.

In another interview, Amb. Godknows Igali, former Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, commended the relationship between Nigeria and Sweden since their past 60 years to have been progressive.

“Sweden is one of the leading technology countries of the world and over the years the country has built strong friendship with Nigeria.

“Today a lot of Swedish companies are seeing Nigeria as a market, so the celebration will give more impetus to the diplomatic relations,” Igali said. (NAN)

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