GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR (DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON NIGERIA-MOROCCO PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP AT SENATE CONFERENCE ROOM 0.22, WEDNESDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2017.
1. I am highly delighted to deliver a goodwill message on the occasion of the inauguration of the Senate Committee on Nigeria-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship Group. I welcome all members to this important event.
2. Distinguished colleagues, Nigeria and Morocco are two of the greatest countries in the North-West African region. Our individual history, positions, importance as leaders in the continent, logically prompts us to combine efforts and economies for a sustainable development of the continent.
3. Following King Mohammed VI’s royal visit to President Muhamadu Buhari in December 2016, the two countries have enjoyed several bilateral trade and economic relations. The relationship has opened a gate way to very strategic partnerships especially with the pipeline and fertilizer agreements signed in Rabat in May 2017. These two agreements have continental scope and dimension as their success will be a major milestone for the region. The economic advantage of our unity is the gas pipeline project for which cooperation agreement has been signed.
4. The integration of Africa into the global energy equation has come to stay and Nigeria and morocco have a strategic role to play to economically link Africa to Europe and other consumer nations.
5. The multi-billion dollar OCP (Morocco) and FESPAN (Nigeria) agreement on the production of fertilizer will have an effect on the economy of the region as a whole. It will allow agricultural development which will creategreater prosperity, improve food security and eradicate hunger. It is expected that the public and private sectors of both countries would collaborate to leverage on the abundant opportunities to create sustainable economic growth in the region. I have no doubt in my mind that Nigeria and Morocco’s relationship is at all-time best, thus we must do everything possible to maintain and strengthen this unique cooperation.
6. Following my visit to the President of the House of Councilors in Rabat in the month of March this year, H.E. Mr. Hakim Benchamach and I discussed how to deepen parliamentary cooperation between Nigeria and Morocco in order to support our executive arm of governments. We came to the conclusion that setting up an effective parliamentary friendship group at the parliament of both countries is a good starting point. I am happy that we have kept this promise and moving towards the brighter side of our relationship. Another issue that came up during my visit to Rabat that is relevant to what we are doing here today, was the possibility of setting up an inter-continental forum of parliaments in Africa and Latin America through a joint parliamentary action within the framework of south-south cooperation. This committee can consider taking up such an agenda to discuss the pros and cons and the overall benefit to our people particularly in achieving our sustainable development agenda.
7. As an inter-parliamentary group I expect all members of the Nigeria-Morocco Parliamentary Friendship group to foster the development of friendship between our two countries and develop close relations and cooperation between our parliaments. Our role as parliamentarians is to formulate legislations that will build on the already blooming relationship between our countries and create ripple effects across the Africa. I want to urge you to put in your best, sacrifice time and always look for compromise to move our relationship forward.
8. This committee hereby stands inaugurated on this day the 4th October 2017.
9. I wish you successful deliberations and hope our visitors from the Moroccan parliament will relish the ambience of the Capital city of Abuja and its diverse mixture of Nigeria’s cultures.
10. Thank you and God Bless
God Bless the National Assembly
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE