Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, has said the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria was important to the world, calling for a free and fair election in the country.
Kim, while speaking during a press conference in Abuja to highlight activities of the embassy in the past year, said he was aware the presidential election would hold early next year. He added that the election was very important to the Nigerian Government, to the Nigerian people and to the world as well. Nigeria, the Republic of Korea envoy further said, is the biggest democracy and the largest economy in Africa.
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“So, Nigeria means a lot, not only to this region, but globally. So, we want to see the election process, first should be peaceful; peaceful without violence. It should be free and fair and it should be transparent,” Kim said. Kim further said the media have the responsibility to guide the government and the people towards a direction of peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections.
“That is very important and I hope that it will happen, the democratic tradition from 1999. Nigeria has been a democratic country. So, democratic practise, rules, I think are deeply established.
“Like Korea, in the next election, we should respect the result and cooperate with the new president,” Kim also said. Earlier, Kim said despite the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Republic of Korea and Nigeria achieved a lot.
In the area of economic cooperation, he recalled the three years legal dispute regarding a shipyard in Lagos, near Apapa Port, between Samsung and LADOL, a Nigerian company.
Kim however said both parties, with the intervention of the Federal Government, have agreed to settle the dispute. He also said it was expected that the ship yard will be in full operation this year and it is expected to employ more Nigerian engineers. Kim further said when fully operational, the shipyard intended to hire up to 3000 Nigerian engineers.
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“It is quite a huge boost for Nigerian job creation. And of course, if their activities increased, they will pay more tax, more fees, et cetera. So, it is good for the Nigerian economy and of course, it is good for Korean company. It is one of the good achievements of our embassy as we also helped to mediate between Samsung and LADOL,” Kim further said. Another major achievement mentioned by Kim was the commissioning of NLNG Train 7 Gas Plant by President Muhammadu Buhari involving Daewoo, a South Korean company in order to boost Nigeria’s gas production.
In the area of political affairs, Kim recalled the joint bilateral commission that took place in South Korea whereby the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, visited South to Korea and met his counterpart. He also said 30 Nigerian government officials and some companies such as BUA, Oando, LADOL, amongst others, visited South Korea and met their counterparts on how to further the bilateral relations between South Korea and Nigeria.