By LIZZY OKOJI
ABUJA- Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, has said that drones and helicopters from Turkey will soon arrive in Nigeria as part of efforts to strengthen the security architecture of the country.
Bayraktar made this known during the commemoration of the 99th National Day of the Republic of Turkey in Abuja.
Bayraktar described the security support from Turkey to Nigeria as an achievement from the defence cooperation contract signed between both countries in 2021.
He said that Turkey was set to extend all kinds of support to Nigeria in its efforts to counter its security threats by sharing its experience, technical expertise and technology.
“The defence contracts signed between our countries last year, marked a historical record.
“Taking this opportunity, I am proud to announce that two of our flagship defence industry platforms, Bayraktar (TB-2) drones and (T-149) ATAK helicopters, are set to arrive Nigeria.
“We are confident that new Turkish defence products will support the efforts of the Nigerian Government and contribute immensely to the peace, prosperity and security of fellow Nigerians,” Bayraktar said.
Bayraktar said the that the Turkish Government is also expecting the Nigerian Government to reciprocate its legitimate security concerns by taking the necessary steps against the strong presence of heinous FETO terrorist group in Nigeria.
“Remaining as the sole obstacle hindering our bilateral relations to develop further, we call Nigeria not to let terror groups undermine our excellent ties, by allowing this terrorist group to fund their illegal aims and activities, by generation of revenues in this country.
On the bilateral relations between both countries, Bayraktar said he was very proud that 2021 and 2022 had been a period of great achievements in the bilateral relations between Turkey and Nigeria.
Bayraktar said that year 2022 which marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with Nigeria, had indeed gained a huge momentum recently, with the reciprocal high-level visits of President Erdogan, in October, 2021 and President Buhari, in December 2021.
He said that with the current pace of increasing commercial relations, he was confident that Turkey would soon achieve the target of $5 billion of bilateral trading volume with Nigeria.
“These mutual high-level visits have provided the opportunity to underline our shared goal of strengthening our bilateral ties in every field, especially in terms of commerce, defence industry, energy, construction, manufacturing healthcare, education, tourism and culture.
“With its steady growth over the last decade and by emerging as an economic powerhouse in its region, Türkiye expressed its readiness to share its development experience with African States, to broaden and strengthen its cooperation in different areas.
“Today, Turkish business people some of whom are present here tonight, are investing in numerous sectors, from Fast-Moving-Consumer-Goods to construction, from healthcare to transportation, from energy to agriculture.
“With the current pace of increasing commercial relations, I am confident that we will soon achieve our target of $5 billion of bilateral trading volume with Nigeria, which remains as one of our top trading partners in sub-Saharan Africa,” Bayraktar said.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, said that Nigeria and Turkey witnessed increased trade and bilateral relations since the high-level visit exchange between both Presidents in 2021.
Dada also said Nigerians remained keen in doing business with their Turkish counterparts which is reflected in the Turkey-Nigeria Business Congress held in September 2021 in Istanbul.
“Since the last series of consultations and exchange of visits at the highest political level, involving President Muhammadu Buhari and Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Abuja and Istanbul in October and December, 2021, both countries have continued to seek new grounds to deepen relations, especially increase in trade volumes.
“I wish to happily note that Nigeria and Turkiye have demonstrated a strong commitment towards friendship in all our dealings, including people-to-people contacts in recent times.
“On this note, I wish to express my optimism that as Nigeria and Turkiye continue diplomatic engagements at the highest level, we would work together tirelessly to deepen engagements for the mutual benefits of our peoples,” Dada said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in attendance were members of the Diplomatic Corps, Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Turkish citizens. (NAN)