The Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of Germany have pledged commitments to deepen bilateral ties, meet the energy transition target, tackle climate crises and strengthen collaborations across all sectors.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, made this known at a bilateral meeting on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, Abuja.
Onyeama said that strengthening bilateral ties, people-to people relations, strengthening partnership in the energy, economic sectors, tackling climate change, insecurity, strengthen collaborations across all sectors were the focus of the bilateral meeting.
He said that the meeting was also coming on the heels of the reparation of 22 pieces of artifacts from Germany to Nigeria which was beyond aesthetics but symbol of the culture and spirituality to the Nigerian people.
“Regarding Energy transmission, it is something that we want to see as the transition to Fossil Fuel by 2060.
“Hydrogen of course is one of the options and strategies that are still in place. And we are very opened to engaging with our partners such as Germany to further develop this.
“We have fully committed into Climate Action and it is a whole of government approach,’’ he said.
“You are coming in the context of the return of various artifacts that have been residing in Germany for a number of decades,” he said
According to him, the ministry on behalf of the Federal Government appreciated the German government for the gesture of returning the artifacts.
“That has not just of aesthetic value to us but deep cultural and spiritual importance to the people of Nigeria.
“We have strong economic cooperation between our two countries and as a country that is oil and gas producing country, we have tried as a government to diversify our economy,” Onyeama said.
The German Minister, Baerbock, said that there were many ways in which Nigeria and Germany, the European Union and African Union needed to strengthen collaborations for economic and mutual benefits.
She commended Nigeria for how well the country was able to fight and resist terrorism and rebuild areas previously captured by Boko Haram.
“We are really appreciative on how your government has supported us we went to Borno State to see first- hand what part of your society have been through within the last year.
“But also how you resisted terrorism and how you rebuilt the areas which have been taken by Boko Haram and others.
“So we really applaud your engagement for the security of the people,” Baerbock said
The minister said that Germany and the European Union were seeking the support of Nigeria and other African countries as the European Union Peace Order is currently under check following the Russian-Ukraine war.
She said that the EU and Germany remained committed to standing by Ukraine which has been invaded by Russia which is a clear breach of the UN Charter.
“We as European Union have asked you as Nigeria, African countries to stand at our side when our peace order is under check and this is why we also engage with you.
“When you have asked us to support you while your stability has been threatened, we stand at your side.
“And for us, this is what I would like to underline with this visit and also a follow up from my Deputy Minister that we really would like to invest in our cooperation and friendship.
“Partners are only true partners if they stand with you in the difficult times,” Baerbock said.
The minister said that only through solid collaboration will it be possible to add to the global challenge of Climate change crises and other challenges as peculiar to respective regions and countries.
“You are facing different challenges with regards to terrorism, but also with regards to climate crises effects, the horrible numbers we had in the end of October with the flooding people being displaced, and also the millions who have been displaced.
“This is a big challenge, but it also shows that we can face these challenges only together if we cooperate.
“We will like to develop our strategic partnership deeper, which your government, with your country. We would like to increase our engagements in the stabilisation subject
“In Nigeria, you have rich value over fossil resources and these are some of the things we would like to discuss so that you can get it right and not make the mistakes we made,” she said.
Baerbock also pledged Germany’s support and neutrality for a free and fair elections in the country in 2023.
By Lizzy Okoji