France pledges safe assistance gulf coast trade route; Nigeria

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The French government has promised to assist Nigeria in combating security issues that are impeding trade along the Gulf of Guinea route.

The French Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Frank Reister, stated this during a lecture on Wednesday at the Nigerian International Partnership Forum, which is currently taking place in Paris.

The forum is a high-level event held in conjunction with ‘The Paris Peace Forum 2021,’ which is organised by the Federal Government to promote trade links with France.

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea have increased their attacks on ships that defy the sub-regional Navy. Piracy kidnapped 15 seamen from a Turkish container ship in January of this year, killing one. In 2020, there were 22 distinct attacks that resulted in the kidnapping of over 130 seafarers.

President Muhammadu Buhari stated in July of this year that Nigeria loses approximately $26.3 billion per year, primarily due to piracy and marine theft.

However, a minister speaking on behalf of his government stated that the French administration is rethinking relations with Nigeria, with a particular emphasis on commercial routes and Sahel stabilisation. Reister said, “We aim at deeply reinventing the relationship between France and the African continent as a whole.

What we want is to build a new partnership based on long term commitment, mutual benefit, sustainability and social responsibility. “Nigeria of course holds a special place on the continent and in our strategy, because Nigeria is a land of promise and opportunity.

“We are all aware of Nigeria’s paramount role in Africa as the continent’s leading economic power and the most populous country. “Nigeria is a power house in Africa especially West Africa that is why France needs to build ties and diverse corporations with your country.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah