By Fortune Abang
Abuja – Dr Benson Alfred Bana, High Commissioner of Tanzania in Nigeria, on Thursday called for stronger trade cooperation and diplomatic relations between Nigeria and his country.
Bana, who is also Head of Mission of Tanzania to Nigeria, made the call while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
He said the relations between the two countries were built on mutual grounds, adding that more needed to be done to attract foreign direct investment from Nigeria to his country.
According to him, there is the need to promote intra-African trade under the auspices of the African Free Trade Movement to bring about improved cultural relations and attract foreign direct investment.
“I want Tanzanians to come to Nigeria, go as far as Maiduguri, Sokoto, Abia, Port Harcourt, and Enugu.
“I want Nigerians to be able to travel to Tanzania for their weddings, kitchen parties, and leisure.
“I want the number of Nigerians travelling to Tanzania to increase from 16,000 in 2018 to 18,000 per year.
“I want to make sure that the likes of Dangote take their capital to Tanzania to invest in mining.
“I want them to invest in education, leisure, tourism industry, automobile engineering, and to invest in fishing.
“Fish farming is an area where we want to come and learn from Nigerians, to become self-sufficient in food production.
“Secondly, we wish to promote trade. At the moment, the trade volume between Tanzania and the Federal Government of Nigeria is still at the lowest level,” he said.
According to the envoy, Tanzania is working closely with Nigerian tour operators and is still interested in working with organisations to promote trade and tourism as well as take advantage of investment opportunities.
He decried the low level of tourism to Tanzania by Nigerians, given Nigeria’s population as the largest country in Africa, saying that efforts were on to revive Air Tanzania operations to achieve the goal.
Bana stated that Tanzania is also interested in strengthening educational relations with Nigeria.
“At the educational level we are keen to promote a relationship. We are willing to promoting Swahili, which is our lingua franca. It is our nation’s language and a unifying language,” he added.