Nigeria’s relations with one of its closest neigbhbours, Niger, is historical and deep rooted. To underscore the importance of our close relations, the Nigerien President, during the reporting period, visited Nigeria three times. Nigeria’s First Lady, H.E. Dame (Dr.) Patience Jonathan also visited Niger. Her visit contributed to consolidating the fraternal relations between the two countries. New Defence Section was also opened at the Embassy of Nigeria in Niamey during the period, to facilitate defence and security cooperation between the two sisterly countries.
Economic Relations with Niger
The 4th Trans-Sahara Trade Fair, held in Niamey between 30 September and 9 October 2011, provided a veritable opportunity for Nigerian entrepreneurs to explore the prospects of investments in Niger. The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) spearheaded the participation of Nigerian companies at the event. A meeting between Niger-Laite, a diary producing company in Niger and Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Kano office culminated in the former agreeing to establish a factory at the Kano Free Zone. Accordingly, several Nigerian businessmen have visited Niger, to explore business opportunities. These include delegations from Dangote Group, Dansa Holdings Limited, Mangal Group or Companies, Global Source Limited.
Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation (NNJCC)
During the period under review and specifically on 10th October 2011, the NNJCC held the 36th Council of Minister’s meeting in Birnin Kebbi. The Honourable Minister of State II, Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad was elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The following agreements were also signed.
- Co-operation Agreement on Health Matters;Cultural, Social and Technical Co-operation for 2011-2013;
- Protocol on Sports Co-operations;
- Protocol on Co-operation on Youth Development.
The implementation of Nigeria/Niger Joint Commission (NNJCC) Agreement over the years has significantly improved the lives of Nigerian citizens, especially those in the Border States such as Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara. Key programmes such as Joint pest and desertification control have led to enhanced agricultural production in the region. Similarly, infrastructure development in this area, including the construction of reads by the various State Governments/Prefectures in Nigeria and Niger, has helped in promoting economic development in both countries.
Accomplished Activities under the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Co-Operation.
- Visit of the Nigerian Health Experts, Niamey, 13-14 January, 2011;
- The Workshop on validation of the two Feasibility Studies on Food security and Cross Border Trade in the Kano-Katsina-Maradi (K2M) Corridor in Kano, 18-19 January, 2011;
- Auditing of Joint Commission’s 2009 and 2010 Accounts, Niamey, 28 March-2 April, 2011;
- Meeting of the Technical Sub-Committee and Meeting of the Technical Committee of Experts on Telecommunications and Postal Services, Maradi, 9-13 May, 2011;
- Meeting of the Committee of Experts on Transportation (Road, Rail, Maritime and Air), Abuja- 16-18 June, 2011;
- Meeting of Joint Standing Committee of Experts on the Re-demarcation of the Nigeria-Niger International Boundary, Sokoto, 20-22 June, 2011;
- Meeting of Technical Committee of Experts on Desertification Control, Zinder, 4-6 July, 2011;
- Meeting of the Technical Committee of Experts on Livestock, Zinder, 7-9 July, 2011;
- Meeting of the Committee of Experts on Health Matters, Maradi, 20-22 July, 2011;
- Meeting of the Chambers of Commerce of Nigeria and Niger, Maradi, 25-27 July, 2011;
- Donor Conference on K2M, Niamey, 26-27 July, 2011;
- Meeting of the Committee of Experts on Trade and Investment Cooperation, Maradi, 28-30 July, 2011;
- Preparatory Meeting of Experts to the 36th Session of the Council of Ministers, Brinin Kebbi, 6-8 October, 2011;
- 36th Session of the Council of Ministers, Birnin Kebbi, 10 October, 2011;
- Meeting of the Committee of Experts on Telecommunications and Postal Service, 16-18 February, 2012.