Nigeria and Turkey are set to strengthen their parliamentary ties by establishing friendship groups between the parliaments of the two countries.
Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while hosting the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, at a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abuja, said the House would establish its friendship group in a couple of days.
He said Nigeria and Turkey have a long history and that there was a lot that can be done between the two countries, noting that there are areas yet to be tapped, especially in terms of trade between the two countries.
“Thank you for this visit. We appreciate this. Obviously, there are some issues we need to discuss. This is our first engagement, and we will continue to engage.
“We in the 9th House have deployed what we call Legislative Diplomacy to see how we can address diplomatic issues.
“I’m glad that you brought the issue of the parliamentary friendship group.”
Mr Gbajabiamila said the House would explore more avenues when members return from their annual vacation, saying “I envisage a parliamentary visit from our end between September and October, barring unforeseen circumstances.
“We’ll explore all the areas: security, economy, politics, agriculture and all that. We’ll establish that group in the next couple of days and look out to our engagement in September-October.”
Earlier, the Turkish Ambassador, Mr Bayraktar said there has been a cordial relationship between the two countries, but added that there was the need to strengthen parliamentary ties.
He said his country had some time in 2018 established a Turkish-Nigeria parliamentary friendship group, calling for such in the Nigerian Parliament.
He said to boost the relationship between the parliaments of the two countries, it would not be out of place for Speaker Gbajabiamila to consider a visit to Turkey.
While thanking the Speaker for the “great honour to be here at the Nigerian Parliament,” the Turkish Ambassador said he would be glad to see a smooth relationship between the Parliaments of the two nations.