President Jacob Zuma will on Friday attend the inauguration of Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari.
“The working visit to Nigeria presents an ideal opportunity for President Zuma to further strengthen and consolidate historic and strategic relations between the two countries, and to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said on Thursday.
President Zuma will be accompanied by Dirco Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
General Buhari will be sworn in as the President of Nigeria following his victory during the presidential election held on 28 March.
Outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan will pass on the baton to his successor at a dinner to be held tonight – the day his government would officially round off work to usher in the new government.
The new government already faces challenges like restoring the country’s economic stability.
The Nigerian economy, Africa’s biggest, has been badly hit by fuel shortages over the last few weeks.
In his congratulatory message then, President Zuma expressed his commitment to working closely with President-Elect Buhari to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between South Africa and Nigeria, paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic cooperation.
South Africa and Nigeria already enjoy warm and cordial relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1994. These which culminated in the creation of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 1999.
The BNC has seen the two countries singing 34 bilateral agreements and cooperation which are set to grow further.
On the trade front it increased from R15 billion in 2009 to R42 billion in 2013 with the South African exports to and imports from Nigeria between January and December 2014 stood at R10.5 billion and R55.7 billion, respectively.
Nigeria enjoys a surplus trade balance with South Africa, which is attributable to huge quantities of oil imports from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, South Africa exports vehicles, aircrafts and vessels, iron and steel products, machinery and equipment, plastics and rubber. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za