Nigeria’s envoy to Italy Amb. Mfawa Abam has officially presented his Letter of Credence to the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.
A statement by the envoy on Wednesday said the presentation of the letter occurred at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.
He said the presentation of the letter marked the start of another phase of diplomatic operations between Nigeria and Italy in the aviation and economic sectors as well as the political front.
“Having presented my letter of credence to the president of Italy, what I want to do now is to hit the ground running with no time to waste.
“I have to redeem our diplomatic relations.
“Things have been dormant for more than a decade and one of the ways to revive our diplomatic relationship is to kick-start discussions with relevant departments and agencies of the Italian government.
“To bring to the table subsisting and outstanding bilateral agreements that have been abandoned for a very long time.
“Of particular importance is the air-services agreement.
“We have to resuscitate this agreement and discuss it.
“This will give impetus on direct flights between our two countries, which will boost the level of investment and trade.
“Our people have suffered untold hardships, travelling for hours and days, and going through third countries,” he said.
According to him, discussions on ways to increase the volume of trade and ensure resumption of direct flights between the two countries had begun.
He said efforts were being made to take the discussions to higher levels.
“The Nigeria-Italy relations have been commendable, soon after I arrived, I met with them because they are my immediate constituency and they promised to work with me.
“Nigerians are doing legitimate businesses here; very well-behaved and very respectful.
“From time to time, we find that there are some bad elements here which are few.
“If there are any bad ones, the only option is to discuss with the leaders of the Nigerian community and see how we can bring them out and work toward reforming them,” he added.