By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Bangladesh and Nigeria are currently working to sign an agreement on Foreign Office Consultation (FOC), to provide a platform to discuss enhanced cooperation and to explore new areas of cooperation between the two countries.
This was disclosed on Wednesday by the Bangladeshi High Commissioner, Md. Shameem Ahsan, in a meeting with Journalists in Abuja, where he noted that the country has signed FOC with close to 40 countries around the world including few countries in Africa.
Md. Ahsan stated also that Bangladesh and Nigeria are currently working to sign some agreements and Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) for cooperation in the field of culture, education and defence.
According to him, “Bangladesh and Nigeria are two friendly countries bound by commonalities in many respects and are both developing countries. Nigeria is very special and there are huge potentials of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries”.
Speaking further, he said that Bangladesh will be more than happy to collaborate with Nigeria in respect to her textile and garment industry.
“As the second largest producers of garment in the world after China, there are huge demands of textile and garment in Nigeria and many Nigerian officials have requested the technical and managerial support of Bangladesh to revive the textile industry of Nigeria.
“I am sure Nigeria had a glorious past in respect to her textile industry but now it needs new focus to bring it to its past glory.
“Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa and 6th largest producers of oil in the world, is something amazing, but I think there are many things both countries can do to cooperate. We can share our best practices in many respects,” he remarked.
The High Commissioner stated also that apart from garment, Bangladesh produces pharmaceuticals which is world-class and a booming industry and is also the largest grower, producer and exporter of jute and jute bags in the world.
While noting that Nigeria grows cashew nuts and cocoa bean in large quantities, he encouraged Nigerians to import jute bags, which he said, is an environment friendly, biodegradable natural fibre and the best bag for packaging cocoa bean and cashew nuts, to protect the colour and ensure the longevity of the items.
Md. Ahsan while speaking on the developmental strides, stated that despite the genocide in which three million lives were lost and more than 200,000 women violated within nine months bloody war of liberation, Bangladesh has continued to make miracles.
In his words, “Bangladesh is moving ahead, despite the fact that it is a small one, in terms of geographical size, it is moving fast as it grew by 7.86% in the last fiscal year and it will grow more than 8 % this year.
“A country of 165 million people, Bangladesh is the 8th largest country in the world and is a self-sufficient country in food production. We would be in a position in the near future to export rice. We have risen to that level and this came to being due to the policy and pragmatism of the government,”he remarked.
He also revealed that following talks between Bangladesh and Nigeria’s Foreign ministry, Nigeria will soon open a resident mission in Dakar, Bangladesh, to further solidify the bilateral relations between the two countries.