Nigerian and Turkey have signed eight bilateral agreements on promoting energy, defense, industry, mining and hydrocarbons.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed the dotted lines in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Erdogan arrived in Abuja on Tuesday on a two-day visit to Nigeria, the last leg of his Africa tour that also took him to Angola and Togo.

President Buhari told a joint press conference that during Erdogan’s visit, the two leaders had “useful discussions on a number of bilateral issues, aimed at strengthening the cordial relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.”

He said the key issues included a series of agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that had been finalized.

“As a positive outcome, eight major agreements/MoUs on a number of the key sectors including energy, defense industry, mining, and hydrocarbons, among others were signed today,” President Buhari said.

Buhari said Nigeria had removed Turkey from its travel ban list, having reviewed the list based on revised COVID-19 protocols.

“Turkey has indeed achieved remarkable success in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Buhari.

In his remarks, Erdogan said Turkey was determined to push relations with Nigeria to “higher levels on all fields.”

He noted that trade between the countries reached 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, making Nigeria the biggest trading partner of Turkey in sub-Saharan Africa.

“However, we still believe that this level of trade we have achieved is far from being adequate. We hope and pray that we will be expanding our trade volume up to 5 billion dollars immediately,” Erdogan said.

He expressed the hope that relations between the two nations will be “further developed on the basis of a win-win scenario and mutual respect.”

The Turkish president also pledged that Ankara would further cooperate with Nigeria on counter-terrorism, as well as in the fields of military, defense, and security.

Erdogan said Turkey has expanded its diplomatic presence in Africa to 43 missions, and that the third round of the Turkish-African business forum will be held in Istanbul this October while the third Turkish-African partnership summit will follow in December.

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